COMMERCIAL-NEWS | ROBERT TOMLINSON - Cameron Bullock, CEO for Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services of St. Joseph County, comments on the 2022-23 budget for the department during CMH’s board meeting Tuesday.

CMH approves 2022-23 budget

CENTREVILLE — A $1.8 million budget increase for the 2022-23 fiscal year was approved by the board of Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services of St. Joseph County (CMH) during their meeting Tuesday.

Board members approved an operating budget of $24,679,607 for the new fiscal year, an increase from the projected final budget number of $22,838,325 for the 2021-22 fiscal year after cost settlements. The new budget goes into effect today, Oct. 1.

The 2022-23 budget, which is required to be a balanced budget for both revenue and expenses, includes a projected increase in state and federal revenue sources – $149,000 and $370,000 respectively – and a slight $128,000 decrease in Medicaid capitation funding, from $16,851,671 to $16,723,286.

In terms of expenses, there is a projected $1.62 million increase in internal services expenses, which CEO Cameron Bullock chalked up to new positions he hopes to hire in the next fiscal year, which includes an executive assistant, a support staffer to support the two new satellite offices for CMH in Three Rivers and Sturgis, a new CLS worker, a Clubhouse worker, a therapist, and a mobile crisis worker for the Three Rivers Police Department, which would be a therapist who will go on calls with officers to help with people who might be suffering from mental health or substance use disorder (SUD) problems.

“You have all the benefits and wages associated with those,” Bullock said. “When we talk about having some surplus funds just hanging out there, my goal is that I utilize those funds differently this year to be able to provide more services we can offer. It doesn’t have an allocation at this point standing, I put it there in anticipation that should things continue to go the way we’re expecting, I’m able to expand services and we’re going to see that this year.”

Bullock also noted CMH budgeted to have a 3 percent increase in provider services to “allow us some wiggle room” if providers ask for additional funding for their services for CMH.

The budget also anticipates a projected $243,000 increase in facilities expenses, possibly due to the two new satellite offices, a $444,000 projected increase in grant expenses, and a $486,000 increase in administration expenses. Bullock said the costs include access staff, legal fees, and some administrative salaries.

In addition to the 2022-23 budget, the board also approved a budget amendment for the 2021-22 budget. Currently, the budget is anticipated to have $24,215,176 in total funding, however due to a projected $5.4 million payment due to Southwest Michigan Behavioral Health for Medicaid and a $4 million payment coming from the state of Michigan for CMH being a Certified Community Behavioral Health Center (CCBHC), their projected cost-settled revenue number for the year is projected to be $22,838,325.

Both the 2022-23 budget and a 2021-22 budget amendment were approved unanimously.

In other business…

  • The board approved a union wage request for a 3 percent raise after some discussion by board members over how much of a raise they should be given. Bullock proposed having a 5 percent wage increase, which garnered some support, but because of questions surrounding provider network costs, management salaries, and other issues, the board ultimately went with the 3 percent raise. However, the board will review the raise again at their January meeting.

Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 22 or robert@threeriversnews.com.

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