Care needed for detox patients changes

NEW ULM – Brown County Evaluation Center (detox) client numbers are down slightly from last year, but client days of service are up slightly from 2012.

“Patients are more medically complex now,” Detox Director Jill Wenzel told Brown County commissioners Tuesday. “We’re getting patients having seizures due to alcohol withdrawal. Methamphetamine use is more common in Redwood County patients. We getting more people on synthetic drugs.”

Commissioners approved a 2014 detox contract with a 4 percent per diem hike that falls to 2 percent when the county pays within 30 days.

Detox accepted 108 patients in September 2013, compared to 115 patients in September 2012. Year-to- date patients numbered 969 in 2013 compared to 1,008 in 2012, according to the RBA. Detox days of service to date this year are 2,072, compared to 2,067 for the same period last year.

ACA Update

At Tuesday’s meeting, the commissioners watched videos on how the Accountable Care Act (ACA) works federally and in Minnesota. The federal video stated that lifetime benefit limits are not part of the ACA and covered services will include vaccinations and drug cost assistance. The ACA will increase some high-earner and tanning salon taxes, according to the video.

“If you’re on MA (Medical Assistance) now, you don’t need to apply online,” Family Services Income Maintenance Supervisor Theresa Schroeder said.

Schroeder said residents without computer access can apply by filling out paperwork.

“We should be proud of how Minnesota is handling this,” Family Services Director Tom Henderson said. “We’re ahead of most other states.”

Flu shots

Public Health Director Karen Moritz said seasonal flu immunizations are being provided at area assisted living and group homes. Flu vaccine is available at three county clinics on Tuesdays by appointment and at area pharmacies. A nasal mist is available for healthy people age 2 to 49.

In other action, commissioners approved:

The Family Services 2013 Annual Summer Camping Report that showed a record number of youth (67) attended specialized and traditional camps plus park and recreation day-camp programs. County Family Services staff, school counselors and other concerned parties refer children and teens for the camps.

A 2014 Greater Minnesota Family Services family-based contract with a 2 percent increase.

Disbanding a four-way, joint powers agreement for the River Bend Therapeutic EBD program, better known as the day treatment program. A number of changes have occurred in the last few years, resulting in fewer students going into the program. At the current time – the program which provides intense mental health service in an educational setting to K-12 students at risk of out-of-home placement in Brown, Sibley and Watonwan counties – is operating at half capacity.

Upgrading digital video recorder systems in the jail and parts of the Law Enforcement Center and courthouse. The $4,700 quote from Reliance Telephone, Inc., East Grand Forks, will be split by jail commissions and software expenses.

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at

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