Eastpointe is disappointed to learn that the Columbus County commissioners have decided to pursue disengagement.
We were not afforded the opportunity for discussion, or provided with detail supporting the Commissioners’ behavioral health concerns, prior to this announcement.
Eastpointe plans to reach out to the commissioners to request time to discuss their concerns and answer their questions. We’re determined to work with Columbus County to ensure that its citizens’ voices can be heard.
We have consistently shown our commitment to meeting the needs of our Columbus County members.
Our responsibility under the law is to ensure that every eligible citizen receives requested, medically-appropriate behavioral health services. Through the 26 providers in our Columbus County network, we do just that. In fiscal year 2016, Eastpointe paid $15.1 million in Medicaid and State funds for services in Columbus County. In fiscal year 2017 that amount increased to $16.6 million. The county represents 7 percent of Eastpointe’s member population and it received seven percent of the claims we paid.
Eastpointe invested the state-mandated, yearly behavioral health contributions from the county in services based solely on the commissioners’ judgement of what would be best for its citizens. The commissioners review these contributions and services annually. Despite their call yesterday to get a better deal for their eligible citizens, they cut these contributions by 50 percent last year, from $80,000 to $40,000. Because county funds are spent specifically for county requests, the funding to Southeastern Regional Medical Center designated for Columbus County behavioral health needs was cut.
Doing right by our members requires Eastpointe and the commissioners to work through our differences before making decisions that affect the continuity of their care. We need to make sure these decisions help those in need, rather than just hoping to do no harm. People must take priority over politics.
Eastpointe Human Services