News Column

Health agency approves tax rate, contracts

September 3, 2014

By Sue Sterling, The Daily Star-Journal, Warrensburg, Mo.

Sept. 03--WARRENSBURG -- The Community Health Services board set the 2014 tax levy at 10 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, the same as the 2013 rate.

The maximum approved by voters, the rate should generate $567,145 for health services based on assessed valuation of $567,145,424.

Financial Action

Financial officer Peggy Shaul said patient service revenue increased almost 47 percent in July, primarily due to an increase in hospice activity.

Expenses exceeded revenue by $19,000, she said, but that amount is three times less than the $59,900 loss recorded for the same period last year, indicating the agency is gaining ground.

Administrator Debbie Haller said the board reviewed finances and voted to move $200,000 from the checking account into a certificate of deposit at Quarry City Savings and Loan at a 0.8 percent interest rate.

She said agency policy is to keep 2 1/2 times the monthly operating expense in the checking account, which left the $200,000 to invest.

The board also moved funds in a money market account at Central Missouri Community Credit Union into a certificate of deposit there at a 1.25 percent interest rate.

The agency will provide a cash rebate to employees on the agency's Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance from a $3,375 rebate. Haller said insurance companies must spend 80 percent of the premiums they receive for patient care or rebate the difference. She said Blue Cross/Blue Shield spent 79 percent of the premiums so the company had to rebate 1 percent.

Health Services had the option of reducing employee premiums or providing a cash rebate, Haller said. Last year, the agency received a larger amount and reduced premiums, she said, but this year, due to the smaller amount, cash rebates will be given.

Contract Renewals

A memorandum of understanding with the Department of Health and Senior Services and the Cape Girardeau Public Health Center will allow Health Services to continue to provide vaccinations to underinsured children, Haller said.

The Centers for Disease Control eliminated vaccines for insured people in 2012, due to budget cuts, but lets the agency provide the vaccinations for underinsured children through a memo with the federally qualified health center, which deputized all 115 local health departments in the state.

A memorandum of understanding with HOPE Coalition in Holden allows the agency to rent space in the Community Activity Center for the Women, Infants and Children's Supplemental Food Program clinics. WIC also provides services to clients at the Survival Adult Abuse shelter and Destiny House homeless shelter.

The board also approved a contract with Kepro, a regional contractor with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees improvement in residential health and hospice services.

Haller said Kepro would investigate complaints on behalf of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services clients over termination issues.


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Source: Daily Star-Journal (Warrensburg, MO)

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