Spirit Lake, IA (KICD)--Officials from seven counties in Northwest Iowa met this (Wednesday) morning for a planning session in response to the state of Iowa's plans to redesign the way mental health services are delivered and administered.
Iowa State Association of Counties Government Relations Manager Linda Hinton, who headed up the meeting, tells KICD News that Senate File 2315 requires at least three counties to form into a region to provide core services, must have a community mental health center to provide psychiatric health services, an must have a clear accountability of administration. The primary issue at hand is financing.
Hinton says the legislature tends fund increases in Medicaid with all other needs being filled after.
Hinton believes that regional setup can work if properly funded which she believes lands somewhere in the $20-$40 million range yearly.
Clay County Community Services Director Kim Wilson says the lack of administrative rules being in place has made this a tough transition.
Clay County Supervisor Ken Challstrom says that the establishment of a 7-person board representing Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Lyon, O'Brien, Osceola, and Palo Alto County at this meeting should help to get things moving.
The seven aforementioned counties are likely to put together a letter of intent to form a regional group and would work under a 28E agreement in the future with representatives from each county on a governing board.