Rural Inpatient Psychiatric Units Improve Access to Community-Based Mental Health Services, but Medicare Payment Policy a Barrier


Inpatient Psychiatric Units (IPUs) may not only be an important source of care for rural residents, but may also assist in the development of community-based services and the recruitment of mental health professionals. This study investigates the typical characteristics and admission processes of IPUs in rural hospitals with less than 50 beds, as well as the community-based services available to them when discharging patients. Reasons for developing these IPUs as well as the barriers to opening and operating a rural IPU and factors that have led some to close are also explored.

Maine Rural Health Research Center
Stephenie Loux, David Hartley, David Lambert