Thursday, May 26, 2022

City Hides Medicare Excess 1115 Waiver Money

City of San Angelo financial documents indicated a huge balance for the Rent of Land and Building account.  The amount for the current fiscal year is orders of magnitude greater than actual rent.  I asked the city for information explaining the huge balance.

The City of San Angelo closed its sexually transmitted disease clinic in Fall 2012 so it could apply for Medicare Section 1115 Waiver funding.  The STD clinic reopened with federal money in 2013 and renewed funding in 2018.  The grant was intended to fund public health expansion, not replace local funding for a recently cut STD clinic.  City staff initially stated the STD clinic would not qualify when it became aware of potential funding.  Mayor Alvin New and City Council chose to roll the dice and eliminated the program with the hopes the feds would backfill.  

The City promised to restore the clinic but its reincarnation has been minimally staffed, even less than originally represented in the grant application.  It's rare for excess federal grant funds to be stored in Rent of Land and Building account.  The City used sleight of hand to get 1115 Waiver funding and is keeping that skill sharp. 

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