— UK HealthCare plans to take over management of nearby Eastern State Hospital, a psychiatric facility. The University of Kentucky system signed a letter of intent with the state’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services. The transition will follow Eastern State’s relocation to a new $129 million campus, which is expected to be completed this spring. The agency pointed in a news release to a number of similar deals in other states, including Arkansas and the University of Arkansas, Connecticut and Yale University and New York and Columbia University. Gov. Steve Beshear added in the release that the agreement “demonstrates our commitment to modernizing our behavioral-health treatment capacity” by creating a stronger link between behavioral and physical healthcare. As part of the agreement, UK will measure performance and outcomes at the 197-bed facility, such as improving patient care during hospitalization, providing continuity of care after patients are discharged and increasing the number of people who can live in the community. The deal also allows more opportunities for UK to conduct research on diagnosing, treating and preventing behavioral health disorders, the release said. The Bluegrass Regional Mental Health Board has overseen Eastern State since 1995. UK will take over
management of the hospital over the summer, following a 60- to 90-day transition.