ARLINGTON, Mass.-Wild Acre Inns, a community-based psychiatric program serving eastern Massachusetts, has signed an agreement with Harvard Pilgrim Health Care under which patients who formerly were hospitalized for acute mental illnesses will be transferred to a residential treatment facility. Wild Acre Inns, based in Arlington, provides a range of mental-health residential and day programs to more than 400 patients weekly. Bernard Yudowitz, M.D., its founder and president, said the program provides intensive 24-hour care at about half the cost of hospital care. Individuals who exhibit high-risk behaviors and are considered an immediate danger to themselves or others will continue to be referred to appropriate hospitals, said Beverlee Sclar, manager of adult psychiatric hospital alternative programs for Harvard Pilgrim, a Brookline, Mass.-based HMO with 1 million enrollees in New England.
PISCATAWAY, N.J.-Broadening its reach and scope of services, QualCare Preferred Providers, a provider-owned PPO, has added 10 northern and central New Jersey hospitals to its ranks. They are Beth Israel Hospital, Passaic; Community Kimball Healthcare System, Toms River; Irvington (N.J.) General Hospital; Kimball Medical Center, Lakewood; Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch; Morristown (N.J.) Memorial Hospital; Mountainside Hospital, Montclair; Newark (N.J.) Beth Israel Medical Center; St. Peter's Medical Center, New Brunswick; and Union (N.J.) Hospital. QualCare is owned by 17 hospitals and physician organizations, and it has contracts with 62 hospitals in New Jersey, two hospitals in Staten Island, N.Y., and more than 10,000 physicians and ancillary providers.
DERBY, Conn.-Some 5,000 residents, or 5%, of the state's Valley community, will have their health assessed and be connected to needed services in a project spearheaded by Griffin Hospital and Healthy Valley 2000 in partnership with 10 community and health organizations. In addition to conducting health assessments, participating organizations will help determine whether people have access to a primary-care source, for example, and help them make appointments. "The committee felt that unless we did that, it wasn't worth doing," said Bill Powanda, a vice president of Griffin Hospital. "That was the critical component of this project." With 35,000 annual emergency visits in a community of 90,000, Griffin Hospital's emergency room is probably overused, Powanda said. About 20%, or 1,000 people, are expected to be identified in one of several "need" categories-from child immunizations to prostate cancer screening. The community Foundation of Greater New Haven has provided a $37,700 grant to help fund the project. Griffin Hospital will invest some $10,000 in equipment for the risk assessments and health promotion brochures. Powanda pegged the value of risk-assessment services being provided by participating organizations at $40,000 to $80,000. The project will include a cross section of Valley residents in Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Derby, Oxford, Seymour and Shelton, targeting people on Medicaid, the uninsured and underinsured in particular.