Psychiatric Solutions, Inc.
 FamilyLight sm: Successor to Bridge to Understandingsm
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FamilyLight sm  marvels at the ability of Psychiatric Solutions, Inc. to shoot itself in the foot.  Most of our interaction with Psychiatric Solutions, Inc. has involved the Texas Residential treatment programs they purchased from Brown Schools.   What appears to be happening in general is very generic acute hospital care in their acute facilities and, for the most part, very generic care for clients/patients funded by TRICARE or CHAMPUS, the healthcare payment system for military dependents.  When we say "generic" we do not mean substandard.  While we at FamilyLight sm are largely displeased by current standards of mental health care,  and we want to see something better for our clients, we have no reason to suggest that care in Psychiatric Solutions, Inc. institutions fails to meet common standards, including those of TRICARE /CHAMPUS.  We think the American public and especially our military heroes deserve better, but that opens a debate for another time.  We assume Psychiatric Solutions, Inc. meets the customary standards; we want something better for our clients and generally can find better.

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FamilyLightsm is an educational consulting firm specializing in work with families with a young person with behavioral, emotional or psychological difficulties.  We offer in-depth personal guidance to families on a fee basis and free guidance on the internet. FamilyLightsm attempts to be fully objective and accepts no advertising nor referral fees.

When Psychiatric Solutions, Inc. acquired the former Brown Schools facilities, some of them had extremely well established reputations in the private patient/client market.  These included San Marcos Treatment Center, what is now known as Texas Neuro-Rehab, The Oaks, and Laurel Ridge Residential Treatment Center.  Of those, the Prescription Program at San Marcos, at Texas Neuro-Rehab have continued to maintain their quality and attract private clients, but their position is eroding not because of ay loss of quality but due to apparent lack of corporate support for and understanding of psychiatric services that rise above what TRICARE and managed care companies are willing to accept .  The Prescription Program at San Marcos, when established, was the pre-eminent psychiatric evaluation program for adolescents in North America.  The quality remains.  Make no mistake.  We are not faulting the folks on the ground at San Marcos.  They have worked heroically subjected to a corporate cultural that simply appears not to understand the private pay market and seems not to want to understand it. 

At this time, the Aspen Institute for Behavioral Assessment and the Menninger Clinic both offer programs that were essentially copied from San Marcos and are intensively marketed.  We do not believe that those evaluation offerings are in any way superior to the San Marcos Prescription Program, but we do sense a corporate culture that is connecting at a personal level in a way that the corporate culture at Psychiatric Solutions, Inc. does not.  On the other hand, Tom Croke, our consultant says, "If I had a teen-age son with serious psychiatric problems and we needed an evaluation, I would want Dr. Jay Rust, clinical director at San Marcos, to be his doctor." 

Menninger is a stand-alone facility, but Psychiatric Solutions, Inc., like Aspen Education, parent company of Aspen Institute for Behavioral Assessment  has  an in-depth understanding of what people expect in the private pay market and communicate that effectively from the corporate level, as well as from the individual schools and programs. The valiant folks at San Marcos and Texas Neuro-Rehab appear to be on their own. 

We believe Psychiatric Solutions, Inc. would better serve its current clientele, its potential clientele, and its investors if it were to initiate an effort at the corporate level to develop and effectively communicate a corporate commitment to provide service that reaches out to a discriminating private market, certainly at San Marcos and Texas Neuro-Rehab.  This also might include The Oaks, Laurel Ridge, Copper Hills Youth Treatment Center,  Cumberland Hospital, and perhaps some others we are less familiar with. 

We continue to give a strong endorsement to the San Marcos Prescription program, and have an optimistic sense of Texas Neuro-Rehab, based on the local efforts at those facilities.  We hope the senior executives at Psychiatric Solutions, Inc. understand the value of the asset they have at San Marcos and will improve their stewardship of that asset.  We will reconsider our opinions here after receiving appropriate returned questionnaires.

While you wait for us to present a more complete review, please look around this website.  Look at our Guidelines -- a fairly comprehensive statement of what we believe quality is all about.  If you come to a search and planning process with limited experience, this is an opportunity for you to find some principles to measure schools and programs against.

Keep coming back to see the updates. Look at "What's New" (Announcements).  In spring of 2009 we expect to have returns from schools, programs, and related organizations published, giving deeper insight into these than has ever been available on the web before. 

Official web site of Psychiatric Solutions, Inc.

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Disclaimer: No  program review, no matter how positive, is a blanket endorsement. No criticism is a blanket condemnation.  When we express our level of confidence in a school or program, that is our subjective opinion with which others might reasonably disagree.  When we assert something as fact, we have done our best to be accurate, but we cannot guarantee that all of our information is accurate and up to date. When we address compliance with our guidelines, you need to remember that these are only OUR guidelines -- not guidelines from an official source.  We have also set the bar very high, and do not expect any school or program to be in total compliance.  It is not appropriate to draw a conclusion of impropriety (or even failure to live up to conventional wisdom) from our lack of confidence in a school or program or from less than perfect conformity to our guidelines.  Some will say we expect too much. Readers are responsible for verifying accuracy of information supplied here prior to acting upon it. We are not responsible for inaccuracies.

Last updated  4-17-09


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