SAN LUIS REY: Hopes Die for Keeping Adolescent Psychiatric Hospital Open
Tuesday's announcement that San Luis Rey Hospital will stop accepting patients starting today killed once and for all any hopes of keeping the adolescent psychiatric facility open. With the "death pronouncement," life for many of North County's troubled children "will never be the same," and "all that's left is the mourning," a San Diego Union-Tribune editorial asserts. The hospital's owner, Nashville-based Behavioral Health, revealed months ago that it would sell the facility. Because Aliso Viejo-based Silverado Senior Living said that it plans to purchase the hospital and convert it to an assisted-living facility, Tuesday's announcement was expected, the editors write. But still, the "prospect of losing such an asset didn't sit well anywhere." The hospital's adolescent patients are being transferred to other area mental health facilities, but the editors argue that the hospitals have neither the space nor the staff to provide a comparable level of care. The editorial concludes, "The bottom line ... is that Behavioral Health can make a lot more money by selling the place than running it. And ... Silverado can make a lot more money by operating an assisted care facility for well-to-do seniors than a psychiatric hospital for North County's mentally ill children" (12/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.