Apace and Region V directors provide commissioners with annual reports, budget requests

YORK – It’s that time of year again when local entities, which receive funds from the county, come before the commissioners to make their annual reports and budget requests. That was the case this past week as the commissioners met with Patrick Kreifels, regional manager at Region V, and Matt Kasik, director of Apace (formerly Region V Services).

Kasik talked about 2023 and the agency’s work with those with development disabilities. He said the agency served 36 people in York County. He said eight clients are competitively employed, 32 people received residential support, 25 people received day service support and 41 Apace employees work in the county.

As Kasik addressed funding from the county, the commissioners displayed a bit of surprise as he said the agency would be requesting zero funds. Historically, the county had been paying approximately $24,000 a year to the agency.

He explained how today, the agency is “almost completely funded by Medicaid, so as a result, we won’t request any county funds,” Kasik said, “as county funding was a method of the past. So we are not asking for county funds this year. That doesn’t change our need for a continued interlocal agreement or the county oversight.”

He said this change was being made so Apace can “better conform to how developmental disability providers are funded in Nebraska. Our primary source of revenue is Medicaid, which is based on the individuals we support. Each participant we serve has Medicaid hours allotted based on their individual needs. This funding follows the participant and is no longer tied to a geographic service area. My hope is that this funding change provides relief for you and your board, as I recognize the challenges county boards are facing with evolving tax legislation.”

Kreifels then addressed the board, regarding his agency, asking the county to sustain the amount they have been paying in the past.

Region V Systems was created in 1974 as a quasi-governmental entity with the responsibility of coordinating and overseeing the delivery of publicly funded mental health services for the 16 counties making up the Region V geographical area. Later, the legislature added a responsibility to each of the six regions, for the development and coordination of substance abuse services.

In the last fiscal year, Region V Systems served 234 people in York County. In this region, the highest number of people in one county being served was in Lancaster County, where 3,692 people were served. There were 319 people served in Gage County. York County had the third highest number of people served in this particular region. Other counties in the service area are Butler, Fillmore, Jefferson, Johnson, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, Polk, Richardson, Saline, Saunders, Seward and Thayer.

Kreifels also talked about the Stepping Up initiative which was created to help reduce the amount of time people with mental illness spend in county jails. He said the key measures to this program are to: reduce the number of people with mental illnesses booked into jail; increase connections to treatment; reduce the length of time people with mental illnesses spend in jail; and reduce recidivism.

The commissioners told Kreifels they would consider his funding request during the budget process, while also saying they appreciated Kasik’s information regarding no need for county funds.

 

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