Yolo County Budget Deficit Forces Mental Health Cuts
In response to a projected $5.2 million budget deficit, the Yolo County Department of Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services cut funding to the Yolo Community Care Continuum, forcing the closure of mental health resource centers in Davis, Woodland and West Sacramento, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The resource centers will be replaced by outpatient offices in the three cities.
About half of the budget shortfall is caused by the large number of patients being treated in 24-hour residential care facilities and hospitals, mostly outside of Yolo County, Richard DeLiberty, the department's interim director, said.
Yolo County also lost $668,000 in Medi-Cal and Medicare revenue, and a state audit is requiring the county to pay back $2.1 million because it disallowed insurance claims that resulted from changes in county mental health practices, according to a county report. The audit is being appealed, the Bee reports.
The county's analysis of its mental health services and programs found that because YCCC facilities were not providing a necessary level of services $360,000 in funding was redirected to mental health programs. However, the county continues to fund 90% of YCCC's $1.2 million annual budget, Kate Hutchinson, who is resigning as executive director of YCCC, said.
Other California counties also are facing budget cuts. Fresno County cut more than $10 million in mental health programs and Santa Cruz County cut 36 positions and about $800,000 in community contracts, DeLiberty said. He added that Shasta and Glenn counties recently considered cutting mental health services to Medi-Cal patients and putting the program back under state control (McGhee, Sacramento Bee, 7/31).