Horizon Mental Health Director Mike Garrett met with Pratt County Commissioners this week to discuss finances and the challenges ahead.

"Kan Care is proving to be somewhat of a challenge," said Garrett. "Eighty to eighty-five percent of our income comes from Medicaid. There are three groups set up to handle Medicaid across the state of Kansas. They were given $200 million the first of the year and they have paid out $30 million."

According to Garrett, funding is based on a per member per month rate with 85-90 percent of state funding being paid out for patient claims. There is still confusion relating to funding for mental health programs with the $10 million cut from their budget by Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, being reinstated as an initiative and being repurposed. Other funding is still up in the air and only time will tell what will eventually shake out, according to Garrett.

Garrett informed commissioners the open position on his executive board has been filled by the appointment of Pearl Shank of Pratt.

Garrett noted Horizon Mental Health has been lucky considering the delay in payments from the three Medicaid administration groups. Horizons Mental Health currently has enough funds to cover costs until reimbursements are made. Some of the other mental health agencies across the state are not in such a position, according to Garrett.

One factor leading to their position has been the hiring of contract personnel.

"We only call them when they are needed," said Garrett. "We want them to have patients when they are being used. This saves us money over a period of time instead of hiring full-time personnel."

Gross patient revenues for the year to date, are $5,025,986 compared to a budget projection of $5,507,460. Last year the expenditures to this date were $5,057,490.

Total operating revenue to date, amounted to $5,949,512, which was slightly higher than the budgeted amount of $5,924,310 and higher than the $5,697,465 of the previous year.

The net revenue for the agency was $618,836 for the year to date compared to the budgeted amount of $249,796. The prior year's revenue for the same period was $269,270.

Salaries of $3,218,755 are below budgeted projections of $3,490,683, with salaries for the previous year amounting to $3,269,157.

Non-salary expenses for the period are also lower than budgeted being $2,134,991 and $2,208,834 respectively. The prior year's expenditures amounted to $2,112,874.

All three commissioners complemented Garrett on his administration of the agency. It was the general consensus of the commissioners that considering the cuts in state and federal funding Horizons Mental Health has experienced over the past several years, Garrett has done a remarkable job.