The San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital is a publicly funded facility that serves adults regardless of ability to pay, or whether or not they have insurance. The hospital is part of the San Diego County Mental Health system, which is funded by the State of California.
All incoming patients are evaluated through the Emergency Screening Unit, which can include a financial assessment. Only uninsured patients are admitted to the inpatient program. Patients with insurance who need more than 24 hours of hospitalization are transferred to private hospitals or other facilities. The County only bills patients based on ability to pay.
Universal Method for Determining Ability to Pay (UMDAP)
Mental Health Administration policy 01-01-219 outlines the policy and procedure for this process. The County takes into consideration the patient’s income and assets before sending a bill. Only a very small portion of the hospital’s operating revenues come from patient billing.
Almost all of the care provided at the San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital is charity care. Most patients are indigent or have only modest income and assets. Those uninsured patients with the ability are billed accordingly through the UMDAP process.