NEWS UPDATE: Mental Health eyes cut in services

Daily Journal Reports

TUPELO – Region III Mental Health soon could cut services to patients without insurance or Medicaid.

“We have always provided uncompensated care to adults and children with no ability to pay,” said Robert J. Smith, executive director. “But now, our day programs are being restricted. We’ve run out of money. That’s what it comes down to.”

He alerted county supervisors of the change during the board’s Monday meeting.

Smith said that since January, 499 of its patients lost their Medicaid coverage after changes to the Poverty Level Aged and Disabled category and were to be rolled over to Medicare. All but two of those people served by Region III now fall into the uncompensated care category, he said.

The cost to continue serving adults in this category tops $40,000 a month, he said. Since August, it has provided uncompensated or discounted care to 1,109 patients.

Smith said his agency will continue to provide nursing and in-home services, but its most expensive program, day services, must be cut.