Prominent SI BH Provider Merges with Local Hospital

NYAPRS Note: In a telling move about the state of healthcare, one of the most prominent behavioral health providers in New York City will be merging with a local hospital. In recent year, hospitals have been entering into arrangements with prominent local medical practices. With billions of recent state investments in the hospitals and a potential trend to merge with behavioral health providers, are we moving even further to hospital based systems?

Staten Island Providers Finalize Merger

Crain’s Health Pulse  January 10, 2019

The Staten Island Mental Health Society, which has provided behavioral health services since 1895, has finalized an agreement to become a division of Richmond University Medical Center, the hospital said Wednesday.

The mental health society serves about 6,000 children and their families annually, providing outpatient counseling, school-based mental health treatment and adolescent and adult substance-use programs. It also operates the borough's largest Head Start program for early childhood education.

The addition of the mental health nonprofit complements the hospital's psychiatric and drug addiction services. The hospital offers inpatient and outpatient psychiatric programs as well as Bridges to Wellness, a partial hospitalization program that allows patients receive services during the day at its Center for Integrative Behavioral Medicine and return home at night.

"This merger further positions Richmond University Medical Center as a leading provider of integrative behavioral medicine for adults, children, adolescents and their families," said Daniel Messina, RUMC's president and CEO.

The hospital first announced plans to merge in 2016. The deal was aided by a $9.9 million grant from the state Office of Mental Health, which deemed the Staten Island Mental Health Society a vital access provider. The Vital Access Provider program was designed to award money to mental health clinics searching for a path to financial sustainability, including through mergers and acquisitions..