6:52am

Tue October 18, 2011
Science/Health

Changes Recommended at Lex. Health Department

 A report released from the state auditor's office says the Fayette County Health Department should make more of an effort to collect unpaid bills and shore up working agreements so that an 11.7 million dollar federal grant for the construction of a new primary care facility is not lost. The report released Monday, encourages the agency to do more to collect, rather than write off, unpaid patient fees, and work quickly to make sure an 11.7 million dollar federal grant to construct a primary care facility is not lost through inaction.

"This report did not uncover any wrong-doing but it makes a number of recommendations to strengthen oversight and to clarify the roles of the Lexington Health Department and the primary care center."

At issue is a service-level agreement yet to be hammered out between the health department and the Primary Care Governing Council which will operate the new facility whenever and wherever it's built.

"They are making progress. And this report makes it clear that they've got to continue that progress. They've got to work out a timely resolution to exactly how much support or assistance the Board of Health can provide to HealthFirst. They've got to come to an agreement on any of the outstanding issues related to purchase of a building or construction of a building. All of those things need to be worked out expeditiously."

The report was in response to a request from Health Department Commissioner Rice Leach who took over the post following the resignation of Melinda Rowe in the spring. © Copyright 2011, wuky