Two new members officially joined the Four County ADAMhs Board at its November meeting Thursday afternoon (November 13) and participated in the discussion that led to the board’s decision to award a grant of up to $1.2 million to Health Partners, Lima, Ohio, to develop a comprehensive medical, dental and mental health center in the four county area.
The board spent about 23 minutes in executive session before voting to empower its executive director Les McCaslin to negotiate terms of the agreement with Health Partners.
The new center would be operated by Health Partners as a federally qualified health center, much like it currently operates primary care practices and a pharmacy in offices owned by Maumee Valley Guidance Center in Defiance and Recovery Services of Northwest Ohio in Bryan. Once open, the center would accept Medicaid patients as well as Medicare and most commercial insurance products.
The project is a partnership not only between the ADAMhs Board and Health Partners of Western Ohio, but also the Henry County Health Department and Ohio Department of Health, and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
Under the plan, the Henry County Health Department will close its dental clinic in Napoleon once the new center opens. At that time, the Ohio Department of Health would transfer its allocation for the Napoleon dental clinic from the Henry County Health Department to Health Partners.
Darrel Handy of Defiance was appointed by the Defiance County commissioners to the board. He has previously represented Defiance County on the ADAMhs Board, serving eight years from 1992 to 2000. A former member of the Defiance city council, Handy is employed by Titan Tire in Bryan.
Cindy Rose of Archbold was appointed to the board by the Fulton County commissioners. She is a nurse with the Fulton County Health Department.
Both appointments are four year terms.
Board CEO Les McCaslin reported that psychiatric hospitalizations during the first quarter were well over-budget, noting that 159 mental health assessments were completed during August alone. While most assessments usually do not result in a hospitalization, he noted that there were several days during the quarter when there were no psychiatric beds available in any hospital in the state.
Fortunately, the board was able to use its inpatient contract with Arrowhead Behavioral in Maumee during those times, he said. Currently, the board’s census at the state hospital in Toledo has been running about three, which is just under its planned census.
McCaslin also noted that board spending on psychiatric medications through the state’s central pharmacy during the first quarter was $19.51. He explained that the board’s allocation for medications from the state for the year is $552,000. The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services has already given the board permission to reinvest any unused medication allocation for any other behavioral health purpose.
According to McCaslin, the savings can be attributed to Medicaid expansion and the pharmacy operated by Health Partners of Western Ohio for its patients.
The board also learned that the ADAMhs Board will be part of the December 2 Fulton County Drug Summit that Fulton County prosecutor Scott Haselman has called for business, education and law enforcement. McCaslin also reported that both Ohio Department of Health director Rick Hodges and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services medical director have visited the integrated medical and behavioral health offices in Defiance and Bryan to better understand the partnership between the ADAMhs Board system and Health Partners of Western Ohio.
In other action, the board voted to approve:
•An $11,000 contract with Secure Telehealth to provide secure video-conferencing and tele-medicine visits for patients with their doctors. Tele-medicine has proven to be an efficient, cost-effective way of providing healthcare, particularly in rural areas where patients may not have their own transportation for medical appointments.
•Contracts of $7,500 with each the Defiance and Williams county sheriff’s offices to provide D.A.R.E. programming. Last year, some 1,300 students participated in the two programs.
•An additional $7,000 for Maumee Valley Guidance Center to support social and recreational activities for the agency’s clients.
•Spending $5,000 as the board’s share of the Defiance County health needs assessment.
The next meeting of the ADAMhs Board will be Thursday, December 11 starting at 5:30 p.m. at the board office, T-761 State Route 66.