Board considers detox contract

NEW ULM — Brown County commissioners will consider the Brown County Evaluation Center, Inc. (detox division) 2018 contract Oct. 24.

The contract calls for a 2018 daily patient rate of $411. The 201 rate was $375 a day. An $88 per recipient daily discount remains the same. Brown County usage is down from 294 days at this time last year to 251 days as of September.

In a letter to member counties dated Oct. 17, Brown County Evaluation Center, Inc., Executive Director Kris Swenson wrote that two factors led to the 12.6 percent/$36 per day 2018 per diem increase.

“The first factor is, we are unable to bill Blue Plus insurance company since it no longer reimburses detoxification services as it did in the past,” Swenson wrote. “Billing Blue Plus allowed us to bill at an increased rate compared to the county per diem rate which in turn saved member counties money.”

Swenson said the second factor is days of service are down 300 client days, year to date.

“When preparing the budget, we use the previous year’s census to help us arrive at a realistic number of client days. This factor also led to a revenue decrease.”

Commissioners will also consider:

• Brown County Sheriff’s Office callback items for the 2018 draft budget. By consensus, the county budget callback items for further consideration are replacing three squad vehicles. If revised to two squads instead of three, the budget would be reduced $37,600 for one vehicle including auxiliary equipment.

• A Safe Zone $5,000 cost for a light pole and camera in the Law Enforcement Center (LEC) parking lot.

• Viewing a Yellow Line Program video. About 18 months ago, the Minnesota Department of Human Services granted Blue Earth County and other Region 9 counties $300,000 to explore a new program to divert people with petty crimes that were brought to the Blue Earth County Jail to mental health resources, when it was appropriate.

The program intends to place a trained, mental health assessor in the jail foyer to assess individuals for mental health symptoms. Along with sheriff’s department staff, the person would determine if jail is appropriate.

Often, the crimes committed are misdemeanors that have brought the attention of police who bring the client to jail. The Yellow Line is literally a piece of tape on a door way between the reception area where the assessment worker does interviews, and the inside of a jail.

So far, the program has been incredibly successful, according to the request for board action.

• A special request from the Brown County Historical Society (BCHS) for assistance to fund half of the cost to install a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit in the museum annex. The total cost was estimated at $10,000.

The BCHS will contribute the balance of the total cost. Project quotes are $9,850 from Klassen Mechanical, Inc.; and $11,595 from Ahrens Heating & Air Conditioning. Some electrical and roofing costs will also be incurred.

The meeting starts at 9 a.m. in the courthouse commissioners room on Oct. 24.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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