04/21/05 — Wayne wants counties to pay what they owe for Eastpointe services

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Wayne wants counties to pay what they owe for Eastpointe services

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on April 21, 2005 1:49 PM

The Wayne Board of Commis-sioners approved a resolution Tuesday asking that Duplin and Sampson counties pay their fair share of mental health services.

Commissioners learned last month that Duplin and Sampson are paying far less than the required amount for services offered by Eastpointe, the organization that provides public services for people with mental health problems, substance abuse problems and developmental disabilities in Wayne, Duplin, Sampson and Lenoir counties.

Wayne County Manager Lee Smith said that many of the Eastpointe services were reimbursed through federal and state programs such as Medicare or Medicaid. But, he said, there are some services that aren't reimbursed. Each county is expected to pay Eastpointe for the services that it uses that aren't reimbursed through state or federal money.

Wayne County paid $690,000 to Eastpointe this year to cover the services Wayne residents used that are not reimbursed.

Smith said that Lenoir County pays its fair share, but that both Duplin and Sampson are not paying enough.

"If you look at what services they use, it's nowhere near what's being paid into the system," Smith said.

He said that the two counties paid about $125,000 each annually, but noted that the costs incurred by each were between $325,000 and $350,000 a year.

Last year, the Duplin County commissioners voted to give Eastpointe $122,500, which was $2,500 less than Duplin's original share.

State law allows counties to make a one-time reduction in their share.

The commissioners sent the Eastpointe board of directors a letter last month, reminding board members of the financial requirements of each county. Smith said he also has met with the county managers from Lenoir, Sampson and Duplin to discuss the issue.