State and Hospitals Disagree on ‘ER Boarding’

April 27, 2023

State officials say they will need up to two years to fully eliminate wait times for inpatient mental health treatment, after a federal judge ruled New Hampshire must stop holding patients in psychiatric distress inside emergency rooms.

The two sides also differ on how quickly patients should be transferred once an emergency room doctor signs off on an involuntary admission.

The hospitals say the state’s mental health system should be ready to accept those patients within six hours; the state is arguing for 12 hours.