More beds for home­less granted

Austin American-Statesman - - LOCAL BRIEFING - Com­piled from staff re­ports

The board of Cen­tral Health, for­merly known as the Travis County Health­care District, ap­proved a first-time in­vest­ment Wed­nes­day of $350,000 in a med­i­cal pro­gram for home­less peo­ple.

The money will go to­ward a con­tract with Front Steps, a non­profit that oper- ates the Cen­tral Texas Re­cu­per­a­tive Care Pro­gram, which pro­vides skilled med­i­cal care to home­less peo­ple who need to re­cu­per­ate from an ill­ness or in­jury and who can­not be safely dis­charged to the streets. The pro­gram will be able to ex­pand from four to six beds for the re­main­der of this bud­get year and for the next year, which starts Oct. 1. The beds are leased from a South Austin nurs­ing home, and the ad­di­tional beds will take care of Cen­tral Health home­less pa­tients.

The board also agreed to en­ter into a $3.7 mil­lion con­tract with MedIm­pact, a phar­macy ben­e­fits man­ager based in San Diego. Cen­tral Health’s con­tract with its for­mer man­ager, Wal­greens, had ex­pired. The MedIm­pact con­tract will cost an ad­di­tional $1.2 mil­lion, mainly be­cause of a large in­crease in pa­tients, said Larry Wal­lace, as­so­ci­ate ad­min­is­tra­tor of Cen­tral Health. He also said the cost of dis­pens­ing med­i­ca­tions has gone from an av­er­age of $11 per pre­scrip­tion to $13.

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