The First and Last Resort

September 4, 2019

(Managed Care Magazine) – What the man in Room 15 and many other patients with behavioral health problems endured is called—with a whiff of euphemism—psychiatric boarding. When no treatment is available, ED patients with behavioral health needs are often tucked away in back hallways, or, like Weiner’s patient, put in a secure room under a constant, vigilant eye. Sedation, even physical restraints, are used. Boarding behavioral health patients is neither unusual—or new. In October 2008, the Lewin Group and the HHS published a paper that said that 80% of ED medical directors reported boarding behavioral health patients.