Phil Murphy delays move that could have hurt thousands of psychiatric patients

Gov. Phil Murphy's administration Wednesday delayed a new payment system for some private mental health providers who've warned the change could disrupt services to thousands of people discharged from New Jersey psychiatric hospitals.

The proposed system of paying for community support services -- the one-on-one casework that helps 5,500 seriously mentally ill people maintain their independence -- will go live in July 1, 2019 instead of July 1 this year, department spokeswoman Ellen Lovejoy confirmed.

"We made the decision because it's a new service for the state of New Jersey, and we wanted to give providers more time to acclimate," Lovejoy said.

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