Overview of RI State Psychiatric Hospital

Governor Dan McKee and BHDDH Director Richard Charest announced the licensing of a new state psychiatric hospital in October 2022. Securing the new license improves patient care and better positions the State to seek federal reimbursements that help pay for patient care. Based on current patient trends, the matching federal funding that help support the care of medically ill patients at Eleanor Slater Hospital, are projected to be, on average, about $30 million to $40 million a year.

The Rhode Island State Psychiatric Hospital (RISPH), located in the Roosevelt Benton facility on the Cranston campus, continues the mission that the Benton facility had as part of Eleanor Slater Hospital – to treat psychiatric and court-ordered forensic patients who have serious mental illnesses. This also includes those who have severe and persistent mental illness and are incompetent to stand trial, those who have been found not guilty by reason of insanity and deemed too dangerous for current release, and those who are serving prison sentences and require specialized treatment not available at the Adult Correctional Institutions.

Photos from Announcement
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RISPH Receives Accreditation

The RI State Psychiatric Hospital has been accredited by The Joint Commission, following a two-day survey during which the facility demonstrated compliance with all standards for psychiatric hospitals.

Joint Commission representatives assessed the hospital’s adherence to standards that address 19 areas, including life safety, environment of care, medication management and emergency management. 

“I want to extend my sincere gratitude to all of our staff for their hard work, collaboration, and assistance to ensure that our Joint Commission survey would go well,” said RISPH CEO Irina Beyder. “The surveyors were impressed, saying the hospital was clean, that we were very well prepared and organized, that the nursing, pharmacy and the medical staff work closely together, that the medication units were clean and organized, and the environment of care documentation was very organized and well prepared. This is a credit to our hard-working staff.”

The hospital, which opened on Oct. 25, 2022, is now accredited for three years, with its next review expected in 2026.


RI State Psychiatric Hospital Background

Since 2018, the Roosevelt Benton Center has operated as a unit within Eleanor Slater Hospital (ESH), providing services for court-ordered forensic patients. As State leaders have contemplated changes for ESH, it became clear that the Benton Center, which underwent an extensive $8 million renovation in 2018 and serves up to 53 patients, should operate as a standalone state forensic psychiatric hospital. The RI Department of Health approved a license for the RI State Psychiatric Hospital (RISPH) in late October 2022. 

By operating Benton under a separate license, it reduces the number of psychiatric patients at ESH, better positioning the State to seek federal reimbursements for patient care at ESH. Unlike most patients at ESH, forensic patients are not eligible for federal reimbursements. However, they are counted as psychiatric patients in the semi-annual census that determines ESH’s eligibility for federal Medicaid reimbursements for patients under age 65. This made it difficult for the hospital to qualify for the federal reimbursements, because federal Medicaid rules prevent the hospital from seeking federal reimbursements for patients under age 65 when more than 50 percent of its patients are psychiatric.