Officials Seek Exemption to Rule for Federal Funding at Modesto Mental Health Center
Stanislaus County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Director Dan Souza and Reps. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.) and George Radanovich (R-Calif.) plan to discuss federal funding for Stanislaus Behavioral Health Center with CMS officials next week, the Modesto Bee reports.
SBHC, a 67-bed psychiatric facility, is licensed under Doctors Medical Center of Modesto, which allows it to receive about $1.5 million to $2 million in Medicare and Medi-Cal reimbursements. Such funds account for about 30% of its budget.
Under a 2000 federal rule intended to address Medicaid fraud, SBHC is eligible for Medicare and Medi-Cal funds only if personnel are employed by DMC. CMS had granted the county a waiver to make the employees exempt from the rule, but the exemption expired a year ago.
Souza said it would be impractical for SBHC staff to become DMC employees because the SBHC workers are unionized and have retirement plans through the county.
Souza, Cardoza and Radanovich will meet with a CMS official next week and ask for the agency to support an amendment to the 2000 regulations that would allow SBHC workers to be exempt from the rule. Cardoza and Radanovich are sponsoring the amendment.
However, John Bray, a spokesperson for Cardoza, said they hope to resolve the situation without legislation (Carlson, Modesto Bee, 6/15).