TURNING POINT BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CARE CENTER ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF OPEN ACCESS SERVICE
Revolutionary Intake Process Provides Walk-In Mental Health Care Access
SKOKIE, Ill.- Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center officially announced today the launch of its Open Access service, a streamlined intake process that allows individuals seeking mental health care services to meet with a therapist on the day they walk in. Open Access is now open 13 hours per week. Service hours are Monday 1 to 4 p.m., Tuesday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday 3 to 6 p.m., and Thursday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Individuals with private insurance plans will be seen on Mondays and Tuesdays only. Medicaid recipients are welcome during all Open Access hours.
When arriving for Open Access, individuals are asked to bring with them the following: (1.) insurance information, (2.) proof of current income and spouse's income, (3.) list of current medications, and (4.) names and phone numbers of primary care physician and psychiatrist (if applicable).
Turning Point CEO Ann Fisher Raney, AM, LCSW said, “For too long, access to mental health services has been a multi-step process that asked people in pain to wait for relief, often for months. This is no longer the case at Turning Point. Now, consumers seeking mental health services need to take only one step to gain the support they need: walk in.”
“Turning Point’s wait list has been as high as 200 people waiting for services, with an average wait time of 10 weeks for a first therapy appointment,” said Compliance Officer and Open Access Coordinator Martina Cortez, MS, LCPC. “A typical result of individuals having to wait for mental health care is an increase in symptoms, psychiatric crises, and emergency room usage. Others give up and don’t get the help they need. Not receiving necessary healthcare can have a ripple effect on the client’s family, livelihood and the community.”
The Open Access intake service is staffed by Turning Point Master’s level therapists. During service hours, individuals are asked to walk in with their insurance information, proof of current income, a list of current medications, and names and phone numbes of primary care physician and psychiatrist (if applicable). The appointment begins with a brief screening to ensure Turning Point’s services are a good fit for the client’s recovery needs. The client receives an orientation to agency services, before being introduced to a therapist or case manager to complete the assessment and schedule their next appointment for services.
Since the Open Access pilot program began on July 5, Turning Point reports that nearly 110 individuals have used the service, an average of eight visits per week. Turning Point’s wait list is currently zero for individuals with Medicaid insurance. (Only a subset of Turning Point clinicians can bill for private insurance.)
CEO Raney says, “Turning Point is in the process of notifying community agencies and other referral sources about our Open Access service. We look forward to expanding our capacity to provide essential mental health care services to individuals in need.”
Turning Point's Open Access program has been funded in part by generous support from Impact 100 Chicago.
# # #
TURNING POINT BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CARE CENTER, established in 1969, is an outpatient mental health center that provides expert, affordable mental health care to all. For more information about Turning Point visit www.tpoint.org.