Government, Health Care, and Human Resources

Health agency approves cuts

April 7, 2015
| By Pat Evans |
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Health agency approves cuts
Scott Gilman. Courtesy Network180

A county-wide health care agency is implementing several cuts to its workforce and services after reporting a $5-million “funding shortfall.”

Kent County’s community mental health authority, Network180, said today that cuts will affect nearly 300 adults with developmental disabilities.

“We will need to begin to immediately reduce services to all populations we serve,” said Scott Gilman, executive director, Network180. “This is extremely challenging, because the individuals we serve have severe disabilities and/or mental illness.”

Gilman said people receiving services and their families will be notified prior to the implementation date of May 1, with phasing the rest of the fiscal year, ending in October.

Agency-wide cuts

Network180’s board voted Monday to eliminate several senior-level managers and community prevention and awareness programs.

The layoff numbers are currently unknown, Gilman said. Positions eliminated include the deputy director of administrative services and clinical director.

The agency's staffing costs have been reduced by more than $600,000 so far this year.

The cuts also include the implementation of furlough days and a 10-percent salary reduction for some of the organization’s administrators. Currently, Gilman said the CEO has taken a pay cut and four others volunteered for a pay reduction, which will begin in May.

The most significant program cuts will impact the day programs for disabled adults, home-based services and traditional outpatient services, according to Gilman.

“Complex problem”

Network180 said that community mental health organizations across the state began to see funding drop last July.

“This is a very complex problem, and the funding shortage appears to be a combination of drops in individuals enrolled in Medicaid having a big impact on the mentally disabled who need traditional Medicaid funding support, as well as a tremendous reduction in Medicaid reimbursement rates that was not anticipated,” Gilman said.

Network180 provides assistance to about 16,000 Kent County children and adults with a budget of about $145 million and contracts with more than 40 local nonprofits to provide services.

“As one of the strongest voices for the mentally disabled, we are going to ask for immediate action to revise the state’s funding plan and ask that Michigan’s Legislature and Governor Snyder protect those most vulnerable from cuts to critically needed funds,” Gilman said.

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