The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

August 16, 2013

River Hills to reduce cost for county-referred patients


"Before, the state used to give us a lump sum of money and we used property tax dollars to pay for everybody eligible [whose county of residence] was Wapello County," said county supervisor Steve Siegel.

But starting last month, anyone who is on Medicaid is now a state case, not a county case, which means the county has fewer patients. The Medicaid expansion takes effect in January, which will reduce the county's client list, Siegel said.

Fewer county cases mean Wapello County will also see less revenue.

"They lowered our max levy for mental health by a third starting this current year," he said. "But there will be further limitations. For every one of our clients that switches over to Medicaid starting in January, 80 percent of those savings will be reduced from our maximum levy. It's unclear whether we'll be in better shape or worse."

On average every month, River Hills receives 25 to 30 people from the county.

River Hills will only provide necessary, emergency procedures for county referrals. For example, River Hills would charge a flat fee plus 15 percent of the cost of a simple dental procedure, such as a filling or pulling a tooth. But for more complex, restorative procedures, such as a root canal or crown, River Hills would charge the county a flat fee plus 50 percent of the procedure's cost.

The changes will affect different counties in different ways. O'Brien County is now unable to pay for mental health services, according to the Des Moines Register, after Gov. Terry Branstad vetoed the $13 million that was supposed to help counties transition to the redesign.

"They have no money for mental health for the rest of this fiscal year," Siegel said. "There will be others joining that list, but we won't be one of those, at this time anyway."

Text Only
Local News
  • 0731 OTT Aviation plane -T -M Flying free OTTUMWA — The financial obstacle may have been removed if your career goal starts with learning to fly. "We have it set up for three terms, about nine months," said pilot and chief flight instructor Darren Graham at Indian Hills Community College. "

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Supervisors discuss pipeline potential KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Supervisors received preliminary, general information on a new pipeline being proposed to carry oil from North Dakota through Iowa, including Van Buren County, then crossing into Illinois. The proposed Bakken Pipeline wou

    July 30, 2014

  • Fairfield stabbing suspects' trials separated FAIRFIELD — The three people accused of dragging a man into a Fairfield apartment before robbing and stabbing him have had a judge grant their requests to separate their trials. Dawn Dunn, Dustin Roll and Brett Hedblade are each charged with willful

    July 30, 2014

  • Local business donates grain rescue tube KEOSAUQUA — Stockport Elevator, owned by Roquette America, donated a grain rescue tube to Birmingham and Stockport Fire Departments. A training session was conducted Monday, led by Dale Ekdahl, a representative of Outstate Data, LLC, the device’s man

    July 30, 2014

  • Where do my taxes go? OTTUMWA — Wapello County Board certified its tax levy. But what does that mean? Based on budgets submitted by various levying authors, the Wapello County Auditor prepares and certifies the levy rates for the county. Budgets for each levy are based on

    July 30, 2014

  • OCSD releases elementary supplies list

    OTTUMWA — For years, parents of the students in Ottumwa's elementary schools have had to check to make sure the school supplies list they grabbed was the right one for their school. No more.

    July 30, 2014

  • Reducing runoff at the local level AGENCY — Pollution isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you look out at a field of Iowa corn or soybeans, but there’s growing concern about what manages to get out of the fields and into the water. The same nutrients that benefit the crops c

    July 30, 2014

  • Supervisors wrestle with staffing woes KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Supervisor Chairman Bob Waugh says he wants county supervisors to help alleviate staffing problems within the county treasurer’s office. In May, supervisors opted not to replace a vacancy within the treasurer’s office. Va

    July 30, 2014

  • 0730 OTT Better Buildings -T -M Wildwood could be your home OTTUMWA — There was always one child per class who just adored school. If they went to Wildwood, they may soon be able to move in permanently. The Ottumwa board of education met Monday, where staff told them where the district stood as far as "facili

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • A changing roster -- for school board OTTUMWA — If the last time you saw your board of education was before Christmastime, the current school board might surprise you. Two members retired from the board: longtime educator Ron Oswalt stepped down, as did board president Carol Mitchell. Bo

    July 29, 2014

Photo reprints