Stanislaus County Supervisors Approve Reductions in Health Spending, Eliminating Health Programs
Stanislaus County supervisors on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve reductions in health services, the Modesto Bee reports. According to the Bee, the supervisors voted to:
- Terminate the county's participation in the California Healthcare for Indigents program and eliminate the Child Health and Disability Prevention Treatment program, effective Thursday, to save an estimated $250,000;
- End an agreement with the Disability Resources Agency for Independent Living to provide "living skills" training for adults with serious mental illnesses. The move, which will also be effective Thursday, will effect an estimated 147 people and save an estimated $197,000;
- Reduce the level of nonemergency outpatient mental health services provided for the uninsured. The move, which will be effective Thursday, will effect an estimated 600 people over the course of the year and save an estimated $1.3 million; and
- Close the East Modesto Regional Services office on Dec. 15 and transfer the estimated 350 uninsured people, Medi-Cal beneficiaries and people with other forms of insurance to other service sites beginning Aug. 1 to save an estimated $672,000.
According to the Bee, the supervisors' actions give county officials 90 days to contact affected residents and move them to other programs. Public health officials and supervisors said that many of those affected by the reductions will be able to receive services from other programs. However, County Mental Health Director Dan Sousa said that will not be true for some people. He added that those no longer receiving mental health services could increase costs when they seek more expensive emergency department care or end up in jail. Patty Hill Thomas, acting county chief executive officer, said that the county had to reduce services because of the state's "diversion of funds" away from counties to help cover its budget deficit (Mooney, Modesto Bee, 6/30).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.