Central Health board members express frustration over intergovernmental transfers in 2018 proposed budget

Central Health building.

Central Health building.

Central Health manager Clarke Heidrick said he might not approve the 2018 fiscal year budget if the board plans to continue to use intergovernmental transfers, or IGTs, as a means of funding.

The board of managers discussed its 2016 Annual Report and the draft budget for the 2018 fiscal year Wednesday evening. While the numbers in the budget were all preliminary, the board said it did not expect to see any big changes throughout the process of passing the budget.

Toward the end of the budget discussion, Heidrick expressed his dislike of the board’s use of IGTs to receive government funding. He said IGTs are too confusing, making it difficult to explain funding to taxpayers.

In 2017, Central Health received $141.57 million through IGTs. In the 2018 proposed budget, the number has been increased to $146.82 million.

Chairwoman Katrina Daniel said she agreed with Heidrick—that IGTs are largely responsible for public accusations that Central Health lacks transparency—but board members know they generate “a tremendous amount of money that impacts funds.”

“It’s just complicated. It’s not that we’re hiding anything,” Daniel said. “It’s how do you leave that money on the table for sake of transparency. It’s a challenge. I think we go a long way to be transparent.”

The process of IGTs entails using local tax revenue to draw matching dollars from the federal government. Additional funds earned through IGTs directly support health care services such as inpatient care, women’s health care and behavioral health.

Board members said to replace the IGT system, they need someone to come up with creative ideas to maintain the level of funding they have now. Heidrick said the funds must start to “come through the front door.”

The budget draft will next go through the Central Health Budget and Finance committee on July 19, and the board of managers will receive an update at the next board meeting July 26.

View the proposed budget and other details here.

For other meeting details, view live-tweets below.


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