A Message from The Center

AHCA (The Agency for Health Care Administration) in Florida has recently publicly published a letter related to a request that we made.  This has led to considerable confusion in the community regarding The Centers.  The letter was a request to close a single hospital unit that we operated, the Adult Psychiatric Unit (APU).  Although the published AHCA letter states that only this acute care unit is affected, the community has misinterpreted our request.  Some individuals have believed that The Centers is completely closing.  Others have believed that The Centers is closing all of its acute care services.  These are incorrect assumptions.  Only a single hospital unit, the APU, is being closed.  (If you desire a longer explanation, I offer it below, with complete details.)

First off, closing the APU has absolutely nothing to do with any changes in Citrus County funding by the state for uninsured individuals.

Secondly, The Centers has had multiple acute care units for years.  These have included:

  • Adult Crisis Unit, 24 functional beds
  • Children’s Crisis Unit, 12 licensed beds
  • Adult Detox Unit, 8 licensed beds
  • Adult Psychiatric Unit, 10 functional beds

The only difference between the Adult Crisis Unit and the Adult Psychiatric Unit rests in the insurance options that will pay for care.  At the federal level, CMS requires specific regulations be followed for inpatient psychiatric care to qualify for Medicare reimbursement.  Individuals with all other forms of insurance (from state-funded through Medicaid and commercial insurance) can be served on the adult crisis unit (or the adult psychiatric unit).  Medicare is the exception.

At this time, The Vines Hospital, a local, for-profit psychiatric hospital is able to accept individuals with Medicare coverage who require inpatient care.  The two organizations are roughly three or four miles apart.  As The Centers has lost money providing services on the adult psychiatric unit and The Vines can serve the needs of Medicare-covered individuals more efficiently, I had spoken in recent weeks with Mr. Quintyne, CEO and Managing Director of The Vines Hospital, about the implications of this change for the community.

The Centers had not anticipated that AHCA was going to publicly post this letter so rapidly resulting in many people misinterpreting that “The Centers is closing” or that we were closing our inpatient services.  As above, only a single acute care unit is affected, with an impact that will be mitigated.  We will be providing a press release shortly, but this will obviously not reach all interested parties.  Additionally, although we are contacting important stakeholders, the breadth of interest in this change has exceeded what we expected.  If you are aware of other concerned individuals, feel free to pass along this explanation.

To summarize, this operational change will have no appreciable impact on Marion County / the surrounding community.  Going forward, we hope to expand our detox services and marginally increase the capacity of our adult crisis unit to serve uninsured Marion County residents (as well as those with insurances other than Medicare).  There will be absolutely NO changes to any other operations of The Centers.  If anything, we anticipate expanding our outpatient capabilities in the near future.

I apologize if there has been any misunderstanding regarding this change.  Please feel free to contact Kristina Donohue or my office with questions.

Thank you,

Don Baracskay

Donald J Baracskay II, MD, MBA, MSCIS

NAMI Statement on Family Separations at Border

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, was created based on the foundation of family involvement and through our years of experience, we believe that strong family support is vital to a child’s long-term mental health.

The forced separation of families is highly stressful and can result in trauma—and these separations can profoundly impact children who do not yet have a mental health condition, as well as those who are experiencing symptoms, by ripping away vital family support. There is growing evidence that exposing young children to trauma is toxic to the development of their brains. Traumatic experiences can negatively impact development and mental health as children grow.

NAMI joins the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American Academy of Family Physicians and others in urging an immediate end to the practice of separating families.  The future well-being of vulnerable children is at stake. We believe it’s critical to children’s mental health to be with their families and caregivers.

Suicide Prevention

Suicide Prevention

Our hearts are with the friends and family of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Help is available. You are not alone.

We know how hard it can be to ask for help. Calling a number and being connected to a stranger can seem a bit impersonal. But we want to remind you: the people on the other end of the line care. Talk to someone. Call the Lifeline. You are important to us.

The Lifeline can also be a resource and support for family and friends worried about someone who may be at risk or people who have lost a loved one to suicide.

People can also reach out to the Crisis Text Line – the free, 24/7, confidential text message service for people in crisis. Text HOME to 741741 in the United States.

It’s also important to know warning signs and risk factors for suicide, that way you can better support others. Be sure to review these so you know what to look out for if you ever need to encourage someone to seek help at https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Related-Conditions/Risk-of-Suicide

The Parkland Shooting Tragedy

The Parkland Shooting Tragedy

NAMI FL (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is conducting a fundraising activity following the recent tragedy at the Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. NAMI FL is currently raising money to expand NAMI’s Ending the Silence program in schools. It’s a presentation for middle and high schools that teaches staff and students how to recognize the signs of a mental illness in themselves or a friend, and how to get help.

Due to the legislation that just passed, NAMI FL is trying to ramp their statewide capacity for this presentation. Johnson & Johnson has stepped in to offer a dollar-to-dollar match for any donation up to $250. This fundraiser is taking place online, with a goal of matched donations of $20,000. This is a time-limited fundraiser.

We hope you would consider participating. To donate, click the button below: