Faced with impending cuts to outpatient addiction treatment funding, Kent County Health Officer Dr. Leland Spencer spoke at the Kent County Commissioner’s meeting about the potential effects of the cuts to the county’s ability to deliver treatment. As reported in The Kent County News:
Spencer said the outpatient program, which is distinct from the inpatient program at the A.F. Whitsitt Center, serves about 260 county residents. Many of the participants are in the program under court orders as an alternative to incarceration, he said. Half of them are low income, and a third have no health insurance.
The state is discontinuing its grant program for local outpatient addiction treatment July 1 of next year, Spencer said. The best case scenario, Spencer said, is a shortfall of $150,000 in the health department budget.”It’s a huge access to care issue,” he said. “It’s not in the public interest to deny them care.” He said other rural counties in the state would face the same problem.
The state’s rationale for the cutback is that the federal Affordable Care Act makes assistance unneccessary. However, many of the clients for the addiction care program “aren’t motivated” to sign up for insurance.
For more information read the full article in The Kent County News.