Seven Counties voices concerns regarding potential cuts to community care dollars

The Governor’s proposed budget cuts Community Care funding for Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) by $21MM in FY15 and $30MM in FY16. While we do not know our exact share of these cuts, Seven Counties is preparing for a substantial cut of approximately $4 million in FY 15 and $6 million in FY 16. Cuts of this magnitude will result in discontinuing critical services for our region’s most vulnerable citizens. The reimbursement rate provided by the managed care organizations will not sustain all of these services. Some services are not reimbursable. In addition, the cost of care can exceed the reimbursement rate.

We are aware that Medicaid reimbursement rates do not always cover the cost of all of the services that our neediest clients require, so Community Care Dollars have been used to support programs and services Seven Counties deemed critical for the welfare of our clients and the safety of our community. We have been told that we will no longer be able to use the Community Care Dollars to subsidize programs and services that are reimbursable by Medicaid. Without the ability to use these unrestricted funds to subsidize programs and services, the potential cuts to our service delivery model will be devastating.

The following programs and services are in critical danger of closing or being significantly reduced.

Children & Family Services

  • Daybreak Children’s Crisis Stabilization Unit, the only children’s CSU in the area serving hundreds of children per year.
  • The Lighthouse, the only state licensed residential substance abuse treatment program for girls in the Commonwealth and one of only three for boys.
  • Children & Family Outpatient Services, currently serving thousands annually
  • Summer program for our most at risk students

Adult Services

  • Peer Support Specialists
  • Recovery Zone, therapeutic day program serving 25-30 people daily
  • Hope Now Hotline, the regions ONLY crisis hotline
  • Emergency Services

Affiliate Services

  • All discretionary funding to our affiliate network may be eliminated, a decrease in over $1MM in critical behavioral health and intellectual disability funding in our region.

Medical Services

  • We can no longer support medical training at U of L Medical School. We will eliminate funding for two Child Psychiatric Fellowships

Developmental Services

  • SPEAK program-Statewide program for Direct Support Professionals administered by Seven Counties.

Regional Prevention Center

  • Kids Now Program for pregnant women/Healthy Journey for Two
  • KY ASAP-Drug prevention/intervention program

The Cabinet for Health and Families assumes that Community Mental Health Centers can make up for these community care funding cuts by increased reimbursements of Medicaid eligible services under Medicaid expansion. However, this hypothesis remains to be seen as no one has inventoried exactly what Community Care dollars now cover to see if Medicaid covered services will make up for these dollars. Further, the implementation of managed care in our community has resulted in a decrease in reimbursement for care and an increase in the dollars spent to bill for the care. Seven Counties Services revenue is roughly 18% lower than in 2012 with an increased administrative cost of over $1M to bill the managed care companies for these services. Clearly, this is NOT the time to cut critical community care dollars in our region.

Senate Health & Welfare Committee Chair Senator Julie Denton of Louisville will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, March 19th

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at 10:00 AM in the Capitol Annex to provide an opportunity for elected officials to hear the impact these budget cuts will have on our communities throughout the Commonwealth. This is a statewide issue, not just a Metro Louisville issue. For more information contact Gwen Cooper, or 502-498-0783.