Realignment of MHIs

Plan for Realigning Iowa’s Mental Health Institutions

To modernize the mental health delivery system for our patients, the Department of Human Services (DHS) is realigning its mental health institutes (MHIs) and will deliver care through the state’s two nationally-accredited facilities at Independence and Cherokee. Funding is not recommended for the Mt. Pleasant and Clarinda facilities past June 30. 

The challenges with operating four MHIs across the state are not new. And, we believe there are community-based programs and facilities available, and more coming online, to serve the majority of Iowans’ mental health needs now and into the future. This will allow the state and mental health regions, who currently have more than $100 million in surpluses, to focus on expanding and offering quality inpatient psychiatric services for Iowans with the most critical mental health needs

The Plan:

  • Consistency: Allow the majority of patients to complete treatment in their current setting. A small number of acute psychiatric patients will be transferred.
  • Increased Capacity: After realignment, there will be 6 more adult in-patient psychiatric beds available at state-run institutions. DHS is expanding capacity at the Independence MHI by 30 beds.
  • Efficient Bed Tracking: DHS is creating a system to track beds statewide. This system will better connect local officials, families and patients with beds available in the mental health system. This system will operate through savings from the reduction and realignment of MHIs.
  • Substance Abuse Needs Met: The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has confirmed there are more than 600 residential substance abuse beds statewide. IDPH believes there are an appropriate level of available beds to meet the needs of both substance use and dual diagnosis patients in Iowa today.
  • Serving High-Needs Aging Patients: DHS will not place sex offenders in nursing facilities. Instead, DHS will work to serve these patients in placements that are safe, secure and well-suited to serving their needs as well as keeping the community safe. DHS is working with state experts to place all geropsychiatric patients appropriately.
  • Campuses Continue Serving Iowans: The Department of Corrections (DOC) operates hundreds of beds at both campuses in Mt. Pleasant and Clarinda. These operations will continue and other private providers who also offer services at each campus will continue operations. Additionally, DHS will explore the potential of more private providers operating programs on to the campuses.
  • Reinvesting Savings: Operations at Mt. Pleasant and Clarinda were projected to cost about $15.8 million in SFY16. Accounting for continuing costs and increasing services at the other MHIs, savings are anticipated to be about $7 million. Savings will be reinvested in services, including a bed tracking system and increased access to community-based services.

If you would like to know more about the realignment click:

Realignment Fact Sheet

Clarinda and Mount Pleasant Population Served Charts

Array of Core Plus and Inpatient Mental Health Services Map