Mental health urgent care sites pop up everywhere

More than 20 mental health urgent care centers have opened in the past year, The Wall Street Journal reported April 1. 

A 2021 study identified at least 77 behavioral urgent care sites, according to the Journal. The growing popularity of the model is driven by increasing demand for mental healthcare. 

The centers can see patients more immediately than outpatient mental health providers and at a lower cost than emergency rooms. 

According to the Journal, even supporters of the centers have raised concerns over whether urgent care centers are providing appropriate follow-up care to patients. 

Robert Trestman, PhD, MD, is chair of psychiatry at Roanoke-based Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and chair of the American Psychiatric Association's Council on Healthcare Systems and Financing. He told the Journal behavioral urgent care is a great idea in concept — but the success is in the details. 

"What kind of follow-up is there? Are they linked to primary care with support? That's the real concern some of us have," Dr. Trestman said. 

Read more here. 

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