Thursday, October 8, 2009

Costly move of mental patients to Rutland

The state could save money by sending Vermont State Hospital patients to a new facility in Rutland, but financing the project will be difficult. Vermont's Joint Fiscal Office found that even when the cost of building a new $25 million mental health unit at the Rutland Regional Medical Center was factored in, the plan would save the state more than $1.7 million each year. But that projection doesn't take into account the difficulties of funding in the down economy. Vermont officials have been looking to replace Waterbury's archaic Vermont State Hospital facility for years, an effort that gained new immediacy after the institution lost federal funding several years ago after investigators highlighted a string of problems there.