Health dept. sees lag in Medicaid monies

LAURINBURG — Revenues for the Scotland County Health Department are 20 percent behind schedule for the current fiscal year thanks to an ongoing lag in Medicaid reimbursements, Fiscal Management Supervisor Tim Martin told Board of Health members at Tuesday night’s regular meeting.

The $220,000 owed to the county by Medicaid is “being held hostage,” by the state, said interim health director Wayne Raynor, adding that it is a problem not unique to Scotland County.

The department hopes to receive the monies by Sept. 30, the last day which they can be applied to the current fiscal year for audit purposes.

Also presented by finance officers on Tuesday was the total amount the department has not been paid for services rendered for fiscal years 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, about $258,000. That number does not reflect debt, but rather serves as a record of the cost of providing services to those whose income meets the threshold for non or partial payment, Martin said. Debt sent to the Internal Revenue Service for collections, for those same fiscal years, totals $11,507. Of that number, $6,229 has been collected. Bad debts total $1,050.

Payment for some services, especially in family planning, are hard to collect, said Jennifer Taylor, processing assistant. Confidentiality provisions allow for teenagers to be seen without parental consent, and for married people to be seen without notifying their spouse.

“We can’t send them a bill — the only way that bill can be addressed is if they come into the office,” she said.

Also on Tuesday, the board:

— Extended Raynor’s contract by three months, having yet to find a suitable replacement for David Jenkins, who vacated the health director’s position in March.

— Heard from Tina Clark, director of Nursing, who reported that the Child’s Health Clinic has seen four children for well child checkups since its May 18 opening. The department is exploring a partnership with East Carolina University’s School of Dental Medicine in Lumberton to provide care to county children who have no form of insurance, she said.

— Was told by Raynor that as many as 30 cats were seized from a county home by animal control, and that 51 cats had been euthanized by the Scotland County Humane Society in May as opposed to 10 in April. Euthanizations for cats peaked last August, according to department records, at 121.

The Board of Health, as in previous years, will not meet in July.

Abbi Overfelt can be reached at 910-506-3023.