skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Saturday, July 20, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Airline travel and more disrupted by global tech outage; Nevada gets OK to sell federal public lands for affordable housing;Science Moms work to foster meaningful talks on climate change; Scientists reconsider net-zero pledges to reach climate goals.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

As Trump accepts nomination for President, delegates emphasize themes of unity and optimism envisioning 'new golden age.' But RNC convention was marked by strong opposition to LGBTQ rights, which both opened and closed the event.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

CO community mental health centers struggle with Medicaid drop

play audio
Play

Tuesday, June 4, 2024   

It's been about a year since the official end of the COVID public health emergency - which has led to a significant drop in Medicaid enrollments and a rise in uninsured individuals in Colorado.

This poses challenges for community mental health centers, like the Jefferson Center for Mental Health, where the rate of Medicaid enrollee decline has surpassed earlier predictions. It has remained below pre-pandemic levels since January.

Dr. Kiara Kuenzler, president and CEO of the Jefferson Center for Mental Health, said it's now facing a daunting $6 million shortfall.

"The people that we're serving are just in extreme stress, struggling to deal with regaining health-care benefits. That impacts not only their access to behavioral health care, but all of their health-care needs," she said.

The nonprofit KFF recognizes the need for behavioral health at an all-time high in its 2023 Colorado fact sheet - identifying more people than ever reporting mental health and substance use challenges.

Kara Johnson-Hufford, Colorado Behavioral Health Care Council CEO, emphasized the urgent need for support for these clinics. She noted a projected shortfall of $24 million to $29 million for these centers overall could mean a risk of reduced services, longer wait times and compromised care.

She added many individuals who have lost Medicaid coverage and now have private insurance are also seeking treatment less frequently - or discontinuing it altogether - due to co-pays and deductibles.

"More people than ever are now going without insurance. No longer qualifying for Medicaid, but cannot afford private insurance - or they may be giving up on Medicaid altogether because of the emotional toll of the enrollment process just being too great," she continued.

Johnson-Hufford predicted if reimbursement mechanisms don't keep pace with the need, programs will close. Despite efforts to address the issue, such as helplines and complaint processes, she said the gap in funding remains a critical concern.

Disclosure: Colorado Behavioral Health Council contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues, Mental Health. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Vice President Kamala Harris spoke at a political event in Grand Rapids, Mich., in early 2024. (The White House/Wikimedia Commons)

Health and Wellness

play sound

Vice President Kamala Harris focused on reproductive rights at a campaign event in Michigan Wednesday. Her remarks come as President Joe Biden has …


Environment

play sound

Construction could begin in Minnesota later this year in the final phase of one of the nation's largest solar energy developments, after state …

Social Issues

play sound

Thousands of educators from across the nation will be in Houston starting this weekend for the American Federation of Teachers annual convention…


The Illinois State Board of Education report card said O'Fallon Township High School HSD #203 is currently only funded at 64%. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

By Kristy Alpert for Arts Midwest.Broadcast version by Terri Dee for Illinois News Connection reporting for the Arts Midwest-Public News Service Colla…

Health and Wellness

play sound

Counterfeit medicine sales are on the rise, in Connecticut and nationwide. The state faced trouble with growing sales of counterfeit Xanax pills …

"Arizonans understand that it is insane to risk Phoenix or Tempe for Odesa or some corn field in Ukraine. It is not in our national interest to get involved," said U.S. Rep. Alexander Kolodin, R-Ariz. (Gage Skidmore / Flickr)

Social Issues

play sound

More than 2,400 delegates gathered in Milwaukee this week for the Republican National Convention and delegates from around the country, including …

Environment

play sound

So far, states like Wisconsin have largely escaped the worst of the summer heat affecting much of the nation but a group of scientists wants regional …

Social Issues

play sound

Postsecondary enrollment data for 2023 shows community college enrollment increased nationwide by more than 100,000 students, and a large percentage …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021