Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk and Camarillo State Hospital in Ventura County have been accredited for the first time by the prestigious Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals in Chicago, state Mental Health Director Dr. D. Michael O'Connor has announced.
All five state mental hospitals now have three-year accreditations from the commission.
The endorsements are not likely to lead to additional state or federal money for the hospitals, O'Connor said, but "it puts California in the benchmark of quality for the mentally ill."
Fewer than 25% of the nation's 260 state mental hospitals are able to meet the commission's standards for patient care, commission spokesman Edmund Fry said.
The nonprofit commission, founded in 1951, regularly reviews most of the nation's hospitals. Although accreditation is voluntary, many insurance companies will not pay for patient care at an unaccredited hospital, Fry said.