IHA Follow-Up: State-Operated Psychiatric Hospital COVID-19 Protocols

March 16, 2020


Following the Dept. of Human Services (DHS) Communication Alert on State-Operated Psychiatric Hospital (SOPH) COVID-19 Protocols released on Saturday, March 14, IHA is providing you background information and resources. As a reminder, DHS will temporarily suspend Civil admissions to three of six SOPHs (Chicago Read, Elgin and McFarland.

The three hospitals suspending admissions are doing so to make room for “triage units” for all new patients moving forward. All other SOPHs planning continued admissions (Madden, Alton, and Choate) have existing space to accommodate these planned triage units. All patients in an SOPH will spend five days in quarantine to ensure they do not have COVID-19 symptoms before being transferred to a traditional Civil unit. It is anticipated that 14-15 individuals per week will be affected across all three SOPH facilities that have suspended admissions, and that it will take one to two weeks to complete the process. DHS estimates that in total, no more than 50 individuals will require community hospitalization. DHS has not indicated plans to transfer existing patients at the three SOPHs with suspended admissions to the three SOPHs in alternative state regions planning continued admissions. See IHA’s document, Contraindications for Civil Admission to SOPHs planning continued admissions.

IHA is currently working with DHS to ensure funding is secured to support community hospitals that may be in a position to assist in the provision of care to uninsured patients, who would have otherwise been a Civil admission at one of the three SOPHs currently diverting patients. Eligible hospitals would include any General Acute Care Hospital or Stand-Alone Psychiatric Hospital providing inpatient psychiatric care, subject to bed availability. Further guidance to hospitals will be shared in the coming days on the proposed rate of reimbursement.

Questions for DHS can be directed to Dr. Brad Hughes at Brad.hughes@illinois.gov or (217)-786-6874. Contact us with questions for IHA.