Some mental health patients to be diverted to ERs
From the Austin Statesman
More people with mental illnesses could soon be sent to local emergency rooms instead of Austin State Hospital, and hospital officials say that could clog waiting rooms and cause longer waits for medical care throughout the Austin area.
On Nov. 8, the Austin Travis County Mental Health Mental Retardation Center will start reducing the number of people it sends to the state hospital by 43 percent — an estimated 600 to 900 people each year. Those people will be taken to emergency rooms, including ones at Brackenridge Hospital, Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas, Heart Hospital of Austin and St. David's Medical Center, said Jim Van Norman, MHMR's medical director.