Impact of Medicaid Relief Legislation
The FY08 State budget includes Medicaid relief to counties that will be phased-in over three years. Beginning October 1, 2007, the State will assume 25% of county Medicaid expenses through FY08. On July 1, 2008, the percentage increases to 50%, and on July, 1 2009 the State will assume 100% of Medicaid expenses.
To pay for Medicaid relief, counties will forgo the per capita half of the Article 44 tax (last local option half-cent sales tax implemented) beginning October 1, 2008. In FY10, counties will forgo the remaining sales tax from Article 44. However, effective July 1, 2009, the Article 42 tax (second local option half-cent sales tax) will be changed from a per capita distribution to a point of delivery distribution.
For Mecklenburg County, the Medicaid relief legislation is expected to be beneficial. In FY08, we project a net gain of $2.3 million; in FY09, $2.2 million; in FY10, $9.5 million and in FY11, $11.9 million.
These estimates do not assume the implementation of either of the new revenue sources permitted by the legislation, namely a new quarter-cent sales tax or .4% land transfer tax. The Board will receive a legislative update on this and other legislative matters at a September meeting.
Update: Integrated Social Services Information
Integrated Social Services Information (ISSI) is a joint effort between DSS and the Information Services and Technology Department (IST) and was first launched in 2002 by DSS' Fraud division. Mecklenburg County partnered with Buncombe County to develop the Youth and Family Services version of the ISSI system and it is the largest application ever developed and implemented by Mecklenburg County. ISSI Child Welfare was a $2.4 million project with a projected return on investment of $1.3 million a year. The expected lifespan of ISSI is over 10 years.
With all major areas of DSS using ISSI, information about clients and the services they receive will be easily shared between divisions, providing improved care coordination, convenience for customers and time savings for staff.
Director Jerry Pinkard recently met with a leading national human services software vendor to provide an overview of ISSI. The vendor, who provides services to states and counties throughout the country, was very impressed with our system and stated, "The system the County has put together for Child Welfare is certainly head and shoulders above anything else we have seen."
Congratulations to the staff of DSS and IST for producing such strong results for the clients and residents of Mecklenburg County.
--Harry L. Jones, Sr., County Manager