Participation in federal entitlement programs is at record levels in Delta County. And the amounts of money coming into the county to fund the programs are being termed "eye-popping" and "amazing" by experienced local program administrators.
In January 2012, the federal food stamp (food assistance) program issued benefits of $501,008 in Delta County. Last month's total was $533,230, an "eye-popping number" says a county departmental report on the program.
The federally-funded food stamp program continues running at record case load levels. As of Jan. 13, there were 1,862 active cases. That number compares with 1,775 cases the previous month, and with 1,709 cases one year earlier in January 2012.
Even with more than a half-million dollars in spending per month, the food stamp program comes up a piker compared with the ballooning payments from the federal Medicaid program in Delta County.
Last month, Medicaid payments reached $1.6 million for the first time, Health and Human Services Director Chuck Lemoine reported to the county commissioners on Feb. 19.
The previous high was $1.2 million. The average through last year has been running about $1 million per month.
Lemoine said these "amazing" amounts of money are in the form of payments to nursing homes, physicians, pharmacies, home health care agencies, the hospital and other providers.
At a session on Feb. 21, Jason Cleckler, chief executive officer for Delta County Memorial Hospital, told the county commissioners that the hospital derives 13 percent of its reimbursement income from the federal Medicaid program. That percentage is expected to increase to 25 percent or higher, he added. DCMH depends on the Medicare program for 51 percent of care reimbursements.blog comments powered by Disqus