Stanislaus County chooses simple formula for dividing health services funding with the state
09/12/2013 5:03 PM
09/12/2013 5:04 PM
Local government was glad to let the state, instead of counties, administer the Medi-Cal expansion under the Affordable Care Act. But counties have fought to keep the state from redirecting funding that’s needed for local public health programs.
Stanislaus County’s Health Services Agency has received $14 million annually in what’s known as 1991 health realignment revenue, and combined it with a $3.5 million local match, to fund health care for 9,000 indigent adults and also safeguard county residents from contagious diseases. Next year, childless adults with income up to 138 percent of poverty level ($15,860 a year) will be eligible for Medi-Cal, so the HSA won’t need as much funding for indigent health care.
It’s estimated that up to 90 percent of medically indigent adults will shift to the Medi-Cal program as a result of federal health reform. Gov. Jerry Brown had proposed taking as much as $1.3 billion from counties
This week, county supervisors opted for a simple formula that will give the state 60 percent of the revenue while the county holds onto 40 percent. Beside the so-called 60-40 split, the state has allowed a second option for counties that involves cost-accounting which I won’t try to explain. Staff members believe that Stanislaus County will get an extra $1.5 million from choosing Door No. 1 (the 60-40 split) instead of Door No. 2.
The county will transfer 13 positions from the Health Services Agency work force to its Community Services Agency, which is flush with federal funding to enroll people who are newly eligible for Medi-Cal. Public health programs will remain intact, because officials believe they have chosen the right formula for that realignment funding.
About This BlogThe Bee's Ken Carlson writes about county government and health issues in the Central Valley.
Join the Discussion
The Modesto Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.