On Tuesday, April 16, you’ll see a report from a Denver media outlet about the possibility that we may need to close West Springs Hospital. We have been fighting the good fight for West Springs Hospital and its Psychiatric Emergency Department because we believe that they are a critical access point: providing lifesaving care to patients experiencing a mental health crisis on the Western Slope. We are exploring all options and opportunities to stabilize the finances and keep the doors open.

As the only psychiatric hospital in Western Colorado between Denver and Salt Lake City, West Springs houses the Psychiatric Emergency Department (PED) which opened in the Fall 2022 and has been vital to increasing behavioral health access in the region. The PED is an essential resource for law enforcement; allowing patients to receive immediate treatment when they are in an emergent mental health crisis. The PED is one of the resources helping to reduce the jail population and reduces criminal justice involvement for patients. The Psychiatric Emergency Department also reduces the burden on local medical emergency departments. While we cannot mention any individual cases due to patient privacy, it has saved many lives from an imminent threat of self-harm and suicide, including the lives of dozens of children in an emergent mental health crisis.

Reasons for Possible Closure: For the past five years, West Springs Hospital has faced significant challenges, including financial constraints, cost of labor and a national staffing shortage in healthcare, reputational concerns, intense regulatory scrutiny, and the cost of unprecedented compliance activity. Claim denials from our largest payor since their merger with one of our nation’s largest healthcare organizations have increased from 9 percent to 20 percent. Despite our best efforts, sustaining operations has become uncertain.

Impact on Patients: We understand that a disruption of service would cause uncertainty for West Springs’ patients. Rest assured that we are committed to maintaining access to medical services, continuity of care, quality patient care and operations during this time. Patient care and safety is and will continue to be the highest priority at West Springs Hospital.

Community Impact: We recognize our role as a community healthcare provider. We are committed to collaborating with healthcare organizations across the state, government leaders and other psychiatric facilities. We are currently engaging with community stakeholders and governmental leaders and other agencies for help; parties that would be impacted by a potential closure. Next Steps: In the coming days, you will receive additional communication as we explore all options. We appreciate your understanding and patience as we navigate this landscape.

John M. Sheehan, MBA, FACHE
President & Chief Executive Officer
West Springs Hospital
Mind Springs, Inc.