Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 8, 2016

Stever speaks at supervisors’ meeting

By NICOLE HESTER-WILLIAMS Ledger staff writer | Nov 21, 2016

The Jefferson County Board of Supervisors received updates today from the Jefferson County mental health administrator Sandy Stever.

Stever told the supervisors that Jefferson County as well as the region has done a great job of providing mental health services and supporting residents in need.

Supervisor Becky Schmitz read a letter from Ben Wright, former Tenco director.

Schmitz said Wright, who now lives in Minnesota and works in Wisconsin, said he had the opportunity to compare mental health services between the areas and that it was obvious that residents in Jefferson County had much more support for individuals who are in need. He said that Jefferson County exceeded what he had seen in four states.

“Your agreement to develop the Crisis Home with Tenco is evidence of that,” Wright stated in the letter. “As I [look] back, Jefferson County does a great job, as does the region as a whole. Another point I want to make is that a lot of the success of the county can be attributed to Sandy’s work and her guidance for the board.”

Wright said that he couldn’t compliment the state as a whole because of the Managed Care Organization issues.

The supervisors discussed the concerns statewide with the MCO that now manage the state’s Medicaid program.

Both Stever and Schmitz agreed that providers had not been paid for services in a timely manner from the MCOs.

Schmitz, who provides mental health services via private practice through Optimae LifeServices, said she had only recently received payments for services rendered in April. Supervisor Lee Dimmitt said that the MCOs currently had no incentive to partner with providers.

He said he had spoken with Rep. Dave Heaton who acknowledged that it was a concern.

“It rolled out too much too fast,” Schmitz said of the program.

Supervisor Dick Reed later said that anything new takes time to work out, but that it usually does.

“Ninety-nine counties are going to pull together, and we’ll get it fixed … things happen anytime there’s a changed of this magnitude,” Reed said.

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