Residents in need of psychiatric evaluation and treatment often have extensive waits resulting in long term care facilities incurring additional costs such as: inefficient staffing patterns because extra ancillary staff are needed to provide one-to-one monitoring of psychiatrically fragile residents; vacant bed days due to residents being discharged early related to psychiatric instability; and increased risk management issues such as resident wandering, assaults on staff and suicide attempts.
While insurance companies have typically been willing to fund psychiatric evaluations, they too have struggled to find trained professionals who are willing to drive to and from the nursing home to provide one. This increases the insurance company's cost because disoriented and/or agitated residents are then sent to the emergency room. Typically, once the resident arrives in the emergency room they are still unable to access the psychiatric services they need in a timely fashion. The elderly resident accumulates additional wait times, causing increased costs for the hospital and increased cost to the nursing home due to bed vacancy while the resident is psychiatrically stabilized.