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Region Sees Budget Cuts to Health Departments


Health Departments in the region are preparing to deal with a $6 million cut from state block grant funding.

Public Health Director Kent Koster says this translates to a cut of about $350,000 for the Purchase District Health Department, which covers Ballard, Carlisle, Fulton, Hickman and McCracken counties. Koster says the government anticipates health care providers will be able to make up for the cut with increased revenue from the Affordable Care Act’s expansion in health care coverage. However, Koster is skeptical.

“When I talk to the other health departments around the state, that’s not happening," Koster said. "And I don’t really see that that’s going to happen. What we’ve been reduced, we’re not going to be able to offset that with additional revenue.” 

Koster says Purchase District Health Department is looking for ways to reduce expenses to protect the services it provides. The department may see some layoffs. Koster says the department is also facing reductions in federal funding, affecting programs for hospital disaster preparedness.  

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