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Patients, Workers In Limbo As Columbus Treatment Provider Suddenly Closes


A long-serving East Side mental health and substance abuse treatment provider has folded, furloughing workers and forcing some 1,500 patients to find new care.

The board of Columbus Area Integrated Health Services (CAIHS) knew it was on the brink of insolvency late last week. They asked the Alcohol Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County (ADAMH) to step in.

David Royer, CEO of ADAMH, says state officials gave them the go-ahead to close Tuesday.

“As of today, their bank accounts have been frozen, so there was no way for us, given the amount of debt and the lack of cash, that we could sustain the employment of any individuals," Royer says.

ADAMH, which is part of the Franklin County government, dialed back its contract with the non-profit in January amid concerns about its financial footing. CAIHS' chief executive and operating officers exited Monday at the direction of the board.

Royer says the collapse of CAIHS will put more than 100 people out of work.

"We do not have the exact count of employees because of shift issues, etc.," Royer explains. "My guesstimation is that well over 100 people will be furloughed over the next several days without pay."

He says ADAMH is attempting to keep some clinicians around on a contract basis to help smooth patients’ transition. But the shake up for patients in need of care could be significant.

"Depending on the scope and breadth of the services some people received, we're talking about in excess of 1,500 individuals that may need to be transferred to other service providers throughout Franklin County," Royer says.

CAIHS had provided care on the East Side for more than 50 years.

ADAMH advises patients affected by the closure and in need of immediate services visit Netcare Access in Franklinton or call 614-276-2273.

Nick Evans was a reporter at WOSU's 89.7 NPR News. He spent four years in Tallahassee, Florida covering state government before joining the team at WOSU.