Strategic Behavioral Health, the Tennessee-based company that’s been trying to build a psychiatric hospital in Bettendorf for nearly two years, will go back before the state in July.
Jim Shaheen, the company's president, said in an email Wednesday that the company will be on the July 20 agenda of Iowa's State Health Facilities Council. He declined comment otherwise.
Wednesday was the deadline for the company to notify the state in order to be on the agenda. The state will finalize the agenda for the July meeting next month.
Strategic applied for state permission to build a 72-bed psychiatric hospital in the Quad-Cities in the summer of 2015. The company said that the Quad-Cities lacks sufficient in-patient beds, and proposed to offer those services, beginning with children and adolescents, along with a range of outpatient services and collaborative efforts to improve behavioral health care in the area.
It wants to build the $14 million hospital at Tanglefoot Lane and Golden Valley Drive in Bettendorf.
The company has been opposed by the area's two largest hospitals, Genesis Health System and UnityPoint Trinity.
The hospitals have bolstered their own behavioral health care services in the last year or two, including the number of in-patient beds. They have argued adding Strategic would undermine their efforts by cherry picking better-paying patients, as well as compete for the scarce supply of psychiatrists and other behavioral health professions.
Strategic's proposal has led to a pitched battle for support in the community, with both sides winning allies to their cause.
Bettendorf Police Chief Phil Redington, who has been a supporter of the new hospital, said Wednesday the area's capacity for dealing with mental health issues has improved. But he said he still wants to see Strategic's project go forward.
“I don’t think we’re at the point now that we can say we have all the resources that we need. In my mind, you can't have too many resources to help the people that need mental health assistance," he said.
Ken Croken, chief marketing officer for Genesis, said Wednesday that the proposal comes too late. He cited the hospital's increased services, which will include a new geriatric behavioral unit later this year. "People suffering from mental health conditions and disorders have many urgent service needs. More in-patient acute care beds are not among those needs," he said. "We need to focus community attention and resources on the more compelling needs of community-based, collaborative support programs and out-patient services.
The health facilities council has deadlocked on Strategic's application twice. The last time was in October, when two members of the panel voted for the application and two voted against. The fifth member of the panel was absent. That same thing happened the first time the issue first went before the council, in February of 2016.