To The Daily Sun,
I am writing in response to a couple of recent letters (Jan. 21 by Lauren Cooper and Jan. 25 by Kevin Leandro, both of Gilford) regarding Genesis Behavioral Health's request for town support of emergency services. It appears as though there is some confusion about why we request municipal support and what those funds are used for. These are commonly asked questions, so I'd like to provide some clarity around this topic.
Genesis asks all 24 towns within our catchment area for funding that is applied toward the costs of providing emergency services to the residents of those towns. Emergency services is a state-mandated service whose revenues has never, and will never support the operations of providing those services because of the costs associated with maintaining 24-hour staffing coverage by physicians and master-s-level professionals. For example, in FY 2016, the Emergency Services Program generated $557,055 in revenues, but incurred total expenses of $716,285, resulting in a deficit of $159,230. (Source: Genesis Behavioral Health; 2015 Form 990; (7/1/15-6/30/16)).
For informational purposes, we provide each town with a report outlining the ages and number of residents served and how many uncompensated dollars Genesis provided to that town. It is not done with an expectation of reimbursement for uncompensated care.
Only in the past two years, has the State of New Hampshire Bureau of Behavioral Health allocated general fund dollars targeted to the delivery of emergency care. This allocation was also reduced by nearly half the year after its introduction.
In FY 2017, we are asking all 24 towns in our catchment area to collectively appropriate a total of $152,000 to help offset the deficit associated with providing emergency services to town residents. Last year, all but five towns funded this request. All municipalities are assessed equally based upon population, and every dollar of your contribution is invested in direct care for uninsured people in crisis.
Genesis Behavioral Health takes is statutory obligation seriously and understands its value to our communities. Consequently, support from municipalities is critical in ensuring the sustainability and availability of emergency services and for ensuring the health and safety of their residents.
Director of Development & Public Relations
Genesis Behavioral Health
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