Cherokee County Community Services Director Lisa Langlitz apprised the Cherokee County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday on the status of two bills currently being debated in both the Iowa House of Representatives and the Iowa Senate that would effectively take away control of how each Iowa county oversees its Mental Health and Disability systems.
Currently, each county in Iowa is responsible for funding and maintaining a community mental health center, and the Iowa legislative branch feels that the services provided have not been adequate and equal throughout all the counties.
Summary of the Iowa House bill (HF 626): would like to see a complete state takeover of the Mental Health/Disability Services and would close county offices and have the Department of Human Services be the new delivery system.
Summary of the Iowa Senate bill (SF 481): see a state take over Medicaid services including services at Glenwood and Woodward, both state resource centers that house individuals; new regional system responsible for non-Medicaid services and people not eligible for Medicaid. The Department of Human Services would be the delivery system for Medicaid services; regions through a network of Central Points of Coordinators for non-Medicaid services.
The Iowa Senate approved a bill Wednesday that would establish a framework to reform Iowa's mental health system.
The bill, Senate File 525, (a reprised version of SF 481), passed 27-23 along party lines with only one Republican, James Seymour of Woodbine, in support.
The legislation calls for the state human services agency to come up with a plan by Dec. 15 to redesign Iowa's mental health system. The Iowa Legislature would be asked to act on the recommendations during its 2012 session, with the new system implemented by July 1, 2013.
The Iowa House is currently still working on its own version of mental health reform.
The plan would still call to shift Iowa from a County-based mental health system to a statewide system that would be regionally administered but locally delivered. The goal is more equitable and affordable mental health services.
The plan calls for eight mental health regions consisting of contiguous counties adjoining one of the following urban areas: Ames, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Iowa City, Sioux City and Waterloo.
All regions would be required to encompass at least one community mental health center or federally qualified health center able to deliver psychiatric services. A region must also be close to a facility with an inpatient psychiatric unit.
The state would pay for any Medicaid adult disability services not covered by federal money. Counties would continue to be responsible for non-Medicaid adult disability services.
Langlitz stated Tuesday that ether bills could change and the final outcome may not be known for some time.
In other business the Board met with Cherokee County Engineer's Project Manager Brandon Billings who updated the Board on the Bridge Project designs in Diamond Township and a twin culvert that will be build in Silver Township.
Cherokee County Human Resources Director Kristi Petersen asked the Board wither they would like her to send the official response of compliance from to ICAP who recently had a site visit and listed recommendations. The Board approved Petersen to send the response.
The Board also approved a wage authorization for Kimberly Bumgardner, a full-time dispatcher at the Communications Center, her pay rate will be $13.20 per hour.