Health Care
10:14 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Agreement Stops Salt Lake County Mental Health Cuts for Now

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams says an agreement has been reached that will prevent more patients from being dropped from Valley Mental Health’s client rolls.

Last month, Valley Mental Health began delivering letters to some of its clients, notifying them that they would be transitioned to other clinicians. The nonprofit provider cited cuts to the amount of money it receives to provide services. Valley Mental Health warned that it may shed as many as 2200 patients. So far, about 730 have received letters. County Mayor Ben McAdams says he and his staff have been looking to find a way to avoid more cuts.

“Simply cutting 2200 people was not an acceptable option,” McAdams says. “So we’ve been talking with Valley Mental Health about how we’re going to transition some of these people, but also looking if there’s another way to help Valley Mental Health balance their budget without cutting so deeply that it will have effects throughout the community.”

McAdams says the County has developed a plan to help 120 people who currently use the Valley Mental Health respite program to retain their care - and in most cases retain the same provider. The county’s mental health services contractor OptumHealth will take over the management of the respite program which provides support for caregivers in their home. McAdams says this arrangement will be more efficient and save Valley Mental Health money, hopefully preventing further cuts to their patient rolls.