SAN DIEGO COUNTY: Health, Social Programs See $62 Million Boost From State
"San Diego County plans to invest $62 million to expand health and social service programs this year, thanks largely to an infusion of extra funding from the state," the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Among the list of "high priority" programs that will benefit from the state funds are "programs that assist seniors and disabled people, strengthen the public health safety net and support welfare-to-work efforts." The Union-Tribune reports that part of the money "will be used to fulfill promises the board made during this summer's budget sessions, including ... increasing the reimbursement rates for hospitals that provide medical care to the uninsured working poor under the County Medical Services system." According to a county staff report, the $800,000 for boosting these rates are "contingent upon Palomar Medical Center, Pomerado Hospital and Tri-City Medical Center rejoining the County Medical Services system." About 10% of the funds, or $6.2 million, has been "earmarked" for improving the Health and Human Services Agency's computer systems. County administrators will also "stash" $1.73 million in a reserve account for the agency. The Union-Tribune reports that the fund comes from "nearly $46 million in increased state allocations, a $13.2 million 'performance incentive' from the state for reducing welfare caseloads and from savings derived from staff cuts and restructuring in the massive" agency. Other health-related uses for the funds include $700,000 to "reduce waiting lists for adult mental-health services" and $400,000 to "increase immunization efforts for 2-year-old children" (Kucher, 11/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.