Bill description: Department of Health and Welfare, Public Health FY21 appropriation
This budget contains two problematic line items.
The first is the Health Care Policy Initiative (HPI), which is being dissolved and the money shifted to Public Health. From page 2-65 of the FY21 LBB, “The HPI Program was established in 2015 to administer the State Healthcare Innovation Plan (SHIP) and other statewide health-policy initiatives focused on improving Idaho’s health care system.” Here is how $39.6 million in funds for SHIP are described on the HPI website. “Ninety percent of the SHIP grant’s funding was allocated to testing and implementing changes within Idaho’s healthcare delivery system. This included supporting primary care practices in their transformation into the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model of care; funding Idaho’s public health districts to support healthcare stakeholder groups called regional collaboratives; and funding to strengthen and build patient health data pathways to improve health outcomes. The remaining ten percent of funding supported personnel and operating expenses used to implement SHIP.”
The lack of any solid metrics suggests that this program should be dissolved and not transferred to Public Health. The total cost of this line item is $880,000 with $284,600 from the General Fund.
There is another line, $1 million for the Home Visitation Program. From page 2-66 of the FY21 LBB, “ If approved the entire amount would be provided to the seven Public Health Districts to continue providing home visitation services to eligible Idahoans. Section 16-1601, Idaho Code, “seeks to coordinate efforts by state and local public agencies, in cooperation with private agencies and organizations, citizens’ groups, and concerned individuals, to: (2) Take such actions as may be necessary and feasible to prevent the abuse, neglect, abandonment or homelessness of children.”
IFF has commented extensively on why this intrusive, government as parent program, is the wrong direction for Idaho.