Benton and Franklin Counties Could Lose Millions in Mental Health Funding - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Benton and Franklin Counties Could Lose Millions in Mental Health Funding

KENNEWICK, Wash.- Benton and Franklin Counties stand to lose about $1 million in mental health funding over the next two years if they don't improve their programs.

The sanctions say that the two counties have to decrease their bed day hospitalization rate or they'll start losing funding July 1, 2007.

The ten-county Greater Columbia Board of Mental Health made the decision.

The counties say they'll be out a little more than $1 million over the next year, and about one-point-four in the second year.

"They're saying on inpatient savings and the new mental health dollars coming from the federal government and the state government, we're going to without those dollars and we'll take it because you're bed day rates are too high," said Claude Oliver, Benton County Commissioner.

Oliver proposes building a mental health triage near the justice center to reduce the bed rate and keep criminals with mental health problems from reoffending.

If the counties can't fix the problems, they'll continue to lose money in the future.

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