Sustain and Provide More Flexibility to the Local Public Health Services Grant Funding Policy Statement

Iowa Counties Public Health Association

Sustain and Provide More Flexibility to the Local Public Health Services Grant Funding

Policy Statement

 

Background

The Local Public Health Services Grant (LPHSG) is the single largest source of State funding provided to local Boards of Health.  These funds primarily provide in-home services intended to assist elderly residents to remain in their homes.  Funds may also be used for a variety of purposes including disease follow up, health promotion, organizational capacity and community needs assessment.  

However, the categorical funding contained within the LPHSG leans heavily toward in-home nursing and support services.  Many of the health promotion services also follow an in-home service model which creates administrative barriers to using these funds for community-based services to address the underlying health conditions of the community or populations.  Additionally, while some progress has been made to allow LPHSG funds to address healthy aging, the current service delivery model continues to focus on services to the elderly.  While these are important services which prevent premature admittance to long-term care facilities or re-admittance to hospital care, a very small percentage of the funds are available for basic local public health infrastructure and modernization.  Local Boards of Health need the flexibility to assess and address, in meaningful ways, strategies which affect the underlying health status of communities.

Recommendations:

ICPHA recommends that as the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Iowa Legislature examine the health of Iowans and prepare strategies to improve the health of Iowans, that additional funds and flexibility be provided within the LPHSG to allow local Boards of Health to address basic infrastructure and local priorities.  As other direct service funding sources may be developed to address health issues which allow individuals to remain in their homes, current allocations and additional allocations can be applied to community-based strategies and policies.  The additional flexibility in the use of funds for more policy and community infrastructure interventions will require the development of additional accountability methods which migrate away from a per-visit cost (home service-based model) to more goal-oriented methods.


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