Members of the Daviess County Board of Health learned about a prefiled bill in the state legislature that could improve methods for reimbursing health departments for some services.

Clay Horton, public health director at Green River District Health Department, has read a draft of the bill sponsored by Rep. Kimberly Moser, an Independence Republican.

The bill identifies core services that are legally mandated, plus programs such as WIC, HANDS and harm reduction. Then, it establishes a formula based on population that sets reimbursement levels.

That process has the potential to provide more stability and to be more fair and transparent, Horton told the board.

"We're anxious to see if that goes anywhere," he said.

In other business, Horton told board members GRDHD staff members are preparing the agency's application for national reaccreditation. The application should be complete later this month.

National accreditation exceeds standards required by law.

"We are very proud of that status," Horton said.

He also gave a report on the county's harm reduction program, which is a syringe exchange that started in February.

This summer, the program received a state grant that provided a customized van and $75,000. The van parks at Fourth Street and Crabtree Avenue from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays to serve clients who want to exchange needles.

The return rate on syringes has been 88% for subsequent visits, Horton said. That rate excludes clients' initial visits because they often don't have needles to turn in during initial visits.

Also, in the beginning, the program served clients two days per week. Horton said they now receive service anytime GRDHD's clinic is open.

Suzanne Craig, manager of the Daviess County Community Access Project, reported the program is on target to hit a record this year for providing donated prescriptions to low-income clients. By the end of November, DC CAP had secured more than $3.5 million in medications.

To surpass the previous record set in 2017, the program only needs another $14,433 in prescriptions. Craig is sure that will happen.

She told board members she could remember when the program, which started in 2005, first hit the $20,000 mark. The DC CAP staff did fist bumps to celebrate.

"We never dreamed it would hit millions per year," she said.

For every dollar invested, the program returns more than $35 back to the community.

Renee Beasley Jones, 270-228-2835, rbeasleyjones@messenger-inquirer.com.

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