Adult Inpatient Services

See Adult Inpatient Quick Links at left.


The primary goal of the psychiatric inpatient service is to provide top quality, short-term psychiatric inpatient care to the citizens of North Carolina in a compassionate, attentive, cost-effective and clinically prudent manner.  At the present time, the primary clinical focus of our inpatient services is on the short-term stabilization of acute psychiatric disorders emphasizing discharge and disposition planning to help patients move quickly to less restrictive alternatives of care.  

While we provide detoxification services to substance abusers, as well as dual-diagnosis programming where applicable, we do not at this time provide primary inpatient substance abuse treatment.

It is the policy of UNC Hospitals and the Department of Psychiatry to screen anyone requesting admission.  While we reserve the right to deny admission based on clinical concerns, it is against our policy to discriminate against admission based on race, age, gender, religion, ethnicity, other personal characteristics, or any combination of the above.

To make a direct referral for admission to the UNC Psychiatry Inpatient Program, please call the Admission's Office at 966-8721 from 8 AM to 10 PM Monday through Friday.  After 10 PM and on Weekends the Psychiatrist On-Call can be contacted at 966-4131.

Admissions Criteria

Patients admitted to the NC Neurosciences Hospital Adult Inpatient Service must meet, at the very least, the five primary admission criteria listed below:

  1. The patient must be an adult* (age 18 and over);
  2. The patient must have an acute psychiatric illness or acute exacerbation of a chronic illness;
  3. The patient must be able to benefit from inpatient treatment here, and this should be the least restrictive approach to treatment for the patient;
  4. The patient's behavior must be manageable on our units;
  5. The patient must be medically/neurologically stable (in some cases patients may need to be medically cleared prior to admission).

It is our policy to try to work with most patients needing psychiatric hospitalization especially if this is a first time admission.  Some patients, such as those with a demonstrated propensity towards extreme violence and/or a history of serious self-injury or property-damaging behavior while hospitalized are more safely and appropriately managed at one of the state hospitals.  Other patients may need to be medically stabilized in other units of the hospital before being transfered to psychiatry.  Under no circumstances will ethnicity, sex, age (other than being under 18), religion or other personal characteristics be used as criteria in discriminating against admissions to our adult units.

Payment and Insurance Information

Billing for services provided by UNC-CH Department of Psychiatry physicians is handled by UNC Physicians and Associates (UNCPA).  We accept payment through Medicare and Medicaid, and we are a Blue Cross and Blue Shield Cost-Wise service provider.  We are also contracted mental health service providers for many health maintenance organizations (HMOs), and we work with most major insurance providers.
For more information about payment options, please call 919-966-0089.