Delaware County officials announced they had reached an agreement that would keep Crozer Health’s behavioral services open until at least August 31.
Crozer Health officials did not respond to a request for comment. However, last week CEO Kevin Spiegel held a town hall where he told employees behavior and substance abuse services would remain open, some workers said.
Crozer Health, owned by Prospect Medical Holdings Inc., has dramatically reduced or eliminated medical services across the county since the start of the year. Some of these include paramedic services in at least seven cities, maternity wards, the intensive care unit and surgical unit at Delaware County Memorial Hospital, the inpatient hospice unit at the Taylor Hospital and emergency department, pathology, laboratory and medical imaging services in Springfield. Hospital.
As a result, on April 20, the Delaware County Board passed an emergency ordinance requiring the Delaware County Health Department to be notified of impending closures or significant reductions in services, along with a closure plan. outlining the continuity of patient care and approval of this plan.
The day after the order was passed, Crozer Health released a letter announcing the closure of Delaware County Memorial Hospital’s addiction clinic on June 10 and the “First Steps” hospital unit for acute substance abuse and addiction in Crozer-Chester Medical Center on June 11. .
In addition, CCMC’s crisis center would close, along with all mental health and addiction treatment services at the Chester Community Campus, including academic services, admissions, assessment and counselling, case management and psychiatric rehabilitation. June 19.
A few weeks ago, State Representatives Mike Zabel, D-163, and Gina Curry, D-164, both of Upper Darby, held a legislative hearing at Monsignor Bonner & Archbishop Prendergast High School to address the lack maternity care in the region. , after which they joined the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals at an information picket outside Delaware County Memorial Hospital. A similar demonstration had taken place in front of the Crozer-Chester Medical Center.
Community members themselves stood in front of CCMC to protest the service cuts. Another demonstration is planned today in front of the Delaware County Memorial Hospital.
Last Wednesday, the county council filed a motion with the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas for a preliminary injunction against closures proposed by Crozer Health even as discussions continued with Crozer officials.
On Wednesday, county officials announced that they and Crozer Health/Prospect Medical Holdings Inc. had agreed to a stipulation with the court for Crozer to voluntarily maintain its behavioral health services until at least August 31, in awaiting further discussions.
County officials said Delaware County will continue to work with Crozer to provide continuity of care for mental health services.
“We are relieved to learn that Prospect Crozer has listened to our concerns about the devastating impact the sudden loss of mental health services would have on our community and they have accepted the county’s proposal to maintain these services as we continue to negotiate. “said Delaware County Council Chairwoman Dr. Monica Taylor.
As a result of this stipulation agreement, the county’s motion hearing that was previously scheduled for May 27 will continue until August 22, as determined by the court.
When the county council passed the emergency ordinance, Speigel said the medical system would need a $20 million reimbursement from the county to keep behavioral, mental health and substance abuse services open.
On Wednesday, county officials said Delaware County had not provided Crozer with any money in return for agreeing to a stipulation to keep services open through the end of August.
County officials are also continuing to expand their network of behavioral health and mental health providers for residents, after approving a litany of additional providers and expanding some current providers at last week’s county board meeting in forecast to fill a potential gap left by the absence of Crozer Health services.
“The county sees this as an opportunity to provide a continuum of services,” said Sandra Garrison, Delaware County director of social services. “We are committed to developing a system that involves more agencies to deliver these services to our residents, that has a wider network of providers, and that encourages new ideas and innovative ways to respond to residents in our community and to their needs.”
Among those included were the AIDS Care Group, MVP Recovery, Main Line Health, American Treatment Network, CareLink, Elwyn, Voice and Vision, Horizon House and Wellpath.
Garrison encouraged interested vendors to contact his office at [email protected], or by calling 610-713-2324. Also, their website is Delcohsa.org.
As county staff work on the matter, Garrison added, “It’s very much a county effort and it really shows how our government can work and we’re going to be better off in the end.”