Cites Decrease In Admissions As Purposely Misleading
TRENTON – Senator Richard J. Codey (D-Essex) today decried the Department of Human Services over statistics it released that show a dramatic decrease in the number of admissions at the Hagedorn State Psychiatric Hospital in Glen Gardener. Hagedorn is the only state run psychiatric hospital that specializes in treating senior citizens. Senator Codey served on a panel that examined whether or not the hospital should be closed as a cost saving measure.
“Unless some sort of new treatment has been developed in other hospitals within the last year that we don’t know about, these numbers simply defy common sense,” said Codey. “It is clear that the Department of Human Services was purposely reducing the admissions to Hagedorn by sending people somewhere else. This was done to inflate cost per patient numbers and so that the Department could eventually shut Hagedorn down. It is part of an extremely foolish, poorly thought out attempt to save money, pure and simple.”
According to numbers posted by the New Jersey Department of Human Services, admissions to Hagedorn dropped by over 50 percent in December, compared to the average admission per month over the course of 2010. That number is in stark contrast to other psychiatric hospitals in New Jersey. Ancora Psychiatric Hospital saw a drop of 4 percent, Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital saw a drop of 14 percent and Trenton Psychiatric Hospital saw a drop of 12 percent. Moreover, Hagedorn saw a steep drop in admissions per month over the course of 2010, from 37 in January, to 10 in December.
“We need institutions like Hagedorn in New Jersey. While serving on the panel, I heard from many families that said they had loved ones who waited long periods of time, up to several days, to be admitted to other hospitals in New Jersey. That flies in the face of these figures. There is no reason people should have to wait days for admittance when Hagedorn could admit them. To do what the Department of Human Services is doing strictly for monetary purposes is abhorrent. These are individuals who need help. They are not statistics and should not be treated as an ends to a mean of budget savings,” said Codey.