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Universal Health Services starts construction on West Allis facility

Thursday, July 23, 2020  
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July 23, Wisconsin Health News

Pennsylvania-based Universal Health Services has started construction on their West Allis psychiatric hospital, which aims to open next summer. 

The $33 million, 120-bed Granite Hills Hospital will have five units, with three focused on adults, one on adolescents and one for older adults. It’ll also have programming for adolescents, adults and older adults as well as intensive day programs and outpatient care. 

The new hospital will be owned and operated by Universal Health Services, with beds designated to provide care for patients referred from the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division, which is in the process of transforming its way of providing mental healthcare. 

Milwaukee County and local providers are working on the development of a new psychiatric emergency department, which isn’t part of the UHS hospital. 

Construction on the hospital was delayed slightly due to complications from the COVID-19 pandemic, per UHS spokeswoman Jane Crawford. The hospital is expected to begin accepting patients in August 2021, according to a recent presentation to the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force. 

Earlier this month, UHS reached a $117 million settlement to resolve allegations that it billed state and federal health programs for medically unnecessary care and failed to provide adequate services.

The settlement included 50 states and territories and the federal government. Wisconsin was not part of the settlement, according to the state Department of Justice.  

According to a statement from UHS, the provider resolved civil aspects of an investigation by state and federal officials. It "unequivocally disputes" any allegation that it engaged in wrongdoing.

“UHS was eager to resolve this matter to avoid future distractions and the high costs of litigation while ensuring that our focus remains steadfast on providing excellent care to our patients and their families," the statement noted.