Regions to do psychiatric holds

The Washington County Board approved an extension of a contract on Feb. 7 with Regions Hospital, St. Paul, to pay for psychiatric hold costs of uninsured individuals. State law requires that counties shall maintain or provide by contract a facility for the confinement of people held temporarily for observation, evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses. Individuals who are considered a danger to themselves or others may be placed on a 72-hour hold by a medical examiner in an inpatient psychiatric setting. Counties are considered to be the last resort in paying for non-insured individuals during the 72-hour hold process, during civil commitment proceedings, and during involuntary psychiatric hospital admission while under civil commitment court jurisdiction.  Regions has contracted with Washington County for many years to provide observation, evaluation, diagnosis, care, treatment and involuntary confinement for uninsured individuals who are considered a danger to self or others. This amendment to the contract extends the agreement through 2013. The county will pay 2 percent more for services in 2012 and 0 percent more in 2013. The annual cost of the contract is expected to be $237,600.