Archived Story

Concerned mental health patients may have answer from board at Tuesday’s meeting

Published 10:13am Monday, February 24, 2014

Several residents who pleaded with the Mower County Board of Commissioners to let them keep their adult mental health case managers at a board meeting earlier this month will likely have their answer at Tuesday’s regular meeting.

The county cut case management providers for Mower County residents who get mental health services from six to two earlier this year and the decision goes into effect next month. On Feb. 11, the board received a petition signed by about 72 mental health patients asking the board to keep case management services as is.

The board referred the issue to the finance committee and is set to hear a recommendation from the committee around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday during the board’s regular board meeting in the county board room in the basement of the Mower County Government Center.

County officials said the move followed legislative recommendations to reform health care services and to enhance service quality for Mower residents, but many who receive mental health services are concerned. Case managers essentially coordinate a team of specialists to help mental health patients, and a switch in case management could disrupt the routine and set patient care back, according to Ronnie Rosenberger, an Austin resident who receives mental health services from Mower County.

Rosenberger and others argued switching case managers could be detrimental to their health. Case managers in effect coordinate care plans for adults using mental health services, and the schedule to change case managers is too quick for many of the residents.

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