Battling the Behavioral Health Shortage in North Texas

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Over the past several years, a number of behavioral health facilities in North Texas have closed, adding stress to a system that already had much fewer beds per capita than other urban areas in Texas. As of this summer, North Texas had about 580 licensed behavioral health beds, while Houston’s Harris County has nearly triple the number of beds at 1,549, and even San Antonio has 847 licensed beds. Most major public hospitals have upwards of 150 behavioral health beds, and John Peter Smith has more than 150. Parkland Hospital in Dallas County has just 20. 

Health providers have their work cut out for them finding all the beds they need to in North Texas, and at times have sent patients as far away as Texarkana to find the care they need. Texas is one of the worst states when it comes to behavioral health funding, but when patients come to a hospital, they are forced to treat them whether the care will be compensated or not.

Learn more about the behavioral health shortage in North Texas and how things might be improving in the November healthcare column. Read it here.