Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to COVID-19

LAST UPDATED ON 10/09/2020

As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Vermilion Behavioral Health Systems to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, on-site visitation is no longer allowed at Vermilion Behavioral Health Systems.

  • This restriction has been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • Options for telehealth visitation are continuously evaluated so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff has received infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance has been provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are being monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.
  • We are in communication with our local health department to receive important community-specific updates.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

New Approach and Funding to Improve Behavioral Health Services in Louisiana

Recent data that measures rates of access to behavioral health services places the state of Louisiana in the fifth-lowest slot in the United States, just above the four lowest-ranking states of Washington, Nevada, Mississippi and Arizona.

This statistic is incredibly concerning given the high rates of mental illness found throughout Louisiana, and health officials are at work on a new plan that they hope will increase access to what could be lifesaving care.

A New Plan Means More Options

Under the old healthcare system, Louisiana’s 1.4 million Medicaid enrollees were all served by one single provider known as Magellan. But given the documented lack of access to services and supports for individuals suffering from mental or behavioral health concerns in the state, it became clear that new policies were needed.

Now the state is busy rolling out a new plan that includes a more multifaceted approach, as it is believed that the single network system created barriers to services, especially after a state-conducted audit found Magellan to be in violation of many terms of their contract.

A One-Stop Shop for Care

Geographic areas that lack a sufficient number of options for accessing quality treatment for addiction and behavioral health concerns are often the same areas with high levels of other types of healthcare needs.

Under Louisiana’s new system, Medicaid patients will now be served by five different insurance companies who will have the ability to treat substance abuse disorders, psychiatric illnesses, and other types of behavioral health concerns, in addition to providing other types of healthcare.

By blending together the capacity to treat both physical and mental health concerns under one umbrella program, it is believed that more Louisianans will be able to access the comprehensive care they need.

Increased Support for Behavioral Health Professionals

One additional barrier to receiving quality behavioral health care in the state of Louisiana and across the country is the shortage of licensed mental health professionals such as counselors, psychiatrists, and psychologists.

In order to help close this gap, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has recently given $743,518 to Louisiana to support two behavioral health training programs at LSU and Southern University Systems. This money will be used to help program attendees secure internship placements that will provide communities, such as nearby Lafayette and Lafayette Parish, with much-needed health services, while providing students with the training they require to secure employment in the field of mental health after graduation.

According to HRSA Acting Administrator Jim Macrae, “the program emphasizes integrating behavioral health, primary care, violence awareness and prevention, and the involvement of families in the prevention and treatment of mental and substance use disorders,” all of which are issues of high importance for Louisiana’s most vulnerable populations.