8 January 2020 | A Portland, Oregon-based behavioral health clinic that is affiliated with Adventist Health has made local news because it is hemorrhaging money. Unity Center Behavioral Health lost $35.3 million in 2019, according to its financial statement which shows that it will likely lose a further $21.4 million this year.

The Lund Report states that Kaiser Permanente, Legacy Health, Oregon Health & Science University and Adventist Health joined forces to set up the center in 2017. The partners were aware that the facility would lose money but it appears that the extent of the losses surpassed expectations.

“The projected loss was $6 million annually but due to several contributing factors the losses each year have been much greater,” the financial statement submitted to Oregon Health Authority says. “This is not financially sustainable.”

“Unity is a key part of the state and local behavioral health system,” said Robb Cowie, lead spokesman for the Oregon Health Authority. “We count on Unity to provide a safe, supportive environment to stabilize people who are experiencing a mental health crisis.”

“Due to lack of capacity at OSH, Unity Center has become the Portland extension of the Oregon State Hospital,” said Unity’s financial statement to the Oregon Health Authority. “We did not envision providing this level of care for this volume of patients.”

The Center is requesting more funds. The Center is asking the state to raise its reimbursement for Medicaid patients to $1,450 from the current $834 per patient reimbursement currently given to the facility.

The Unity Center cost $47.9 million to build and launch in January 2017 when it was framed as a response to Portland’s mental health crisis.

Adventist Health is a faith-based, nonprofit network of hospitals, clinics, home care agencies, hospice agencies and joint-venture retirement centers in both rural and urban communities, serving more than 80 communities across the western United States and Hawaii. The healthcare system is affiliated with the Adventist Church.

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