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Fiscal Year Begins, Health Program Reduced


Kansas City, MO – Major reductions to a program aimed at improving the health of low income Missourians take effect today.

The state's three year old health and wellness program allows special nurses and health workers to regularly follow-up with Medicaid recipients. The staff is available by phone 24 hours a day to provide advice about healthy living and help connect patients with care.

But more than thirty million dollars in budget cuts are forcing the program to scale back. Arleasha Mays is with the Department of Social Services and says starting today, healthy patients will no longer have access to the service.

MAYS:"We have to be efficient with the funding that we're provided to address the needs of those who must receive their health care through the state. And one of the ways that we can do that is make our services more focused."

Mays says the program is now only available to patients that already have a chronic health condition, like diabetes or high blood pressure.

She also says the cutbacks include the elimination of 54 jobs.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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