Governor Christie Announces Expansion of Behavioral Health Beds

Increases Access to Adult Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Treatment

Trenton, NJ – Continuing his effort to create the most aggressive response in the country to the opioid crisis, Governor Chris Christie today announced the State will increase the number of available beds for the treatment of behavioral health and substance abuse disorders by almost 40 percent. The Department of Health has filed a Certificate of Need Call (CN) for new adult acute care psychiatric beds throughout the Garden State, the first such CN in almost 20 years.

“Moving forward on this commitment to increase capacity for behavioral health beds in New Jersey will ensure that individuals with the co-diagnosis of behavioral health and substance abuse issues will get the treatment they need to reclaim their lives, their families and their futures,” said Governor Christie.  “Opioid addiction is a public health crisis and we must take aggressive action to get this crisis under control and save lives.”

Today’s action, announced following a roundtable discussion with patients at Renaissance House, an adolescent and women’s treatment facility in Newark, builds upon legislation approved yesterday by Assembly and Senate committees that ensures that individuals with private insurance will be able to access addiction treatment.

The Department of Health CN calls for an additional 864 beds to treat those co-diagnosed for behavioral health and substance abuse treatment, which is an almost 40 percent increase in the total adult acute care psychiatric beds currently available in the State.  These beds will serve Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Sussex and Warren counties.

To ensure these additional beds are fully utilized, the Department has included certain incentives to providers when submitting their CN Applications.   Priority consideration will be given to one or more of the following courses of action:
•    A regional approach to care across county lines;
•   The provision of in-patient and out-patient services;
•    Investment in Warren, Salem, and Cape May counties, where there are currently no such beds; and
•    Innovative treatment options for those co-diagnosed with behavioral health and substance abuse disorders.
The additional beds must be operational within 2 years and up to 5 percent of the beds must be used for Medicaid and uninsured patients.

People can visit www.reachnj.gov for instant, 24-hour drug-addiction related help and to learn more about Governor Christie’s life-saving drug addiction prevention, treatment and recovery initiatives.

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Press Contact:
Brian Murray
609-777-2600

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