Fasano Statement on Newly Detailed Community Care Cuts

October 14, 2015

Hartford – Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano released the following statement regarding the Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services (DMHAS) cuts to a new “community care team” grant program for entities providing acute care and emergency behavioral health services. The $1.5 million cut wipes out funding for the first year of a program designed to help reduce patient ER visits for the most at risk individuals. The cut is a direct result of the governor’s rescissions to DMHAS announced last month.

“Once again Governor Malloy’s cuts are targeting health care for some of the most vulnerable individuals. These community care teams have been proven in hospitals like Middlesex and Danbury to significantly reduce emergency room visits and save more money than they cost. The governor is making cuts with no policy or vision behind them. Why cut programs that save money and improve outcomes for those suffering from mental illness or addiction?

“This runs contrary to all our efforts to improve mental health services and early detection and intervention after the Newtown tragedy. It is also contrary to the goals of the Affordable Care Act in terms of preventative care and care coordination.

“Patients will bear the burden of the governor’s lack of fiscal discipline and misplaced priorities. The governor’s Medicaid cuts will already result in hospitals getting reimbursed only 40 cents for every dollar of care they provide to Medicaid patients. This cut worsens those burdens on our health care providers by eliminating a program demonstrated to reduce ER visits. With more people in the ER, and less funding available to pay for services provided, hospitals and the people they help take another hit.”