E.R. Costs for Mentally Ill Soar, and Hospitals Seek Better Way

December 26, 2013 2:00 AM

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E.R. Costs for Mentally Ill Soar, and Hospitals Seek Better Way

In answer to Mr. Lyons’s questions, the man, wearing a red shirt that dwarfed his thin frame, said he was bipolar, schizophrenic and homeless. He was looking for help because he did not think his prescribed medication was working.

In the past, paramedics would have taken the man to the closest hospital emergency room — most likely the nearby WakeMed Health and Hospitals, one of the largest centers in the region. But instead, under a pilot program, paramedics ushered him through the doors of Holly Hill Hospital, a commercial p...

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