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Texas needs more psychiatric hospitals

Texas has a shortage of facilities needed to meet residents’ psychiatric needs. The state has suffered from years of underfunding in this critical area of healthcare. As of March 2021, the state’s 10 public psychiatric hospitals reported a waitlist of almost 1,500 patients. Patients had to wait over a year to get a maximum-security bed and 180 days for a non-maximum-security bed. As recently noted in the Houston Chronicle, state lawmakers moved forward with efforts to address the problem by investing almost $400 million into projects that are slotted to provide over 500 inpatient psychiatric beds throughout the state.

Need means opportunity for investment

The state has promised funds both to expand existing hospitals and create new facilities. Although it is important to note that the proposed budget with these allocated funds still requires Governor Greg Abbott’s signature.

Those looking to help in this area through investment opportunities or starting their own facility could find themselves poised for significant growth in the near future, as there is a clearly a need within this niche area of healthcare.

National attention could mean increased oversite

Like any healthcare facility, psychiatric hospitals are required to follow certain rules and regulations. When billing Medicare and Medicaid, for instance, they must stay within the bounds of the False Claims Act (FCA). In addition to navigating federal regulations, these facilities must also adhere to state and local rules. This includes strict rules regarding licensing and preadmission screening. A failure to abide by these rules can result in penalties ranging from fines to, if an egregious violation, potential imprisonment.