Contra Costa Board To Have More Say in County’s Health Services
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors has decided to increase its oversight of the county hospital, health clinics and delivery of mental health services, the Contra Costa Times reports.
The county supervisors are the governing body for the health system, but they typically leave daily operations to hired officials. While a board subcommittee has been involved in major decisions, the full board's role often has been limited to approving budgets.
The county owns Contra Costa Regional Medical Center, a safety-net provider for low-income and uninsured residents.
At a board workshop Tuesday, Steven Tremain, the hospital's director of systems redesign, and William Walker, health services director, urged the full board of supervisors to become more active in decisions. The supervisors agreed to hold monthly meetings with health officials to discuss major issues.
Meanwhile, Supervisor Susan Bonilla proposed a greater emphasis on mental health issues and called for a report on the county's challenges in providing mental health care services. The report also should include plans to address those challenges and long-term goals, according to Bonilla.
Supervisor Mary Piepho called for a report on how the county is using funds from Proposition 63 (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 2/7). The 2004 ballot measure raised the state income tax on high-income residents to fund mental health services for counties (California Healthline, 12/9/07).