Iowa’s Department of Human Services will get some badly-needed money, a windfall that will help put the agency’s major overhaul into effect. Spokesman Roger Munns says legislation that directed this redesign also took away ten-million dollars.One of the first things Kevin Concannon did when he came to head the agency last spring was declare that he’d find ten-million from other sources. Concannon didn’t want the redesign of child-welfare to center on the lack of money, and he found three different sources of funding. The largest “chunk” of funding is five-point-four-Million dollars in federal Medicare money, after an error was found that had allowed Iowa’s child-welfare agency to under-claim federal matching funds. The department quickly filed a retroactive claim for the maximum 24 months allowed, and learned days ago the claim’s been approved by the federal government. The second chunk is four-million dollars uncovered by going over the accounts and regulations with a fine-tooth comb.A policy used to determine child-welfare spending was more restrictive than federal rules required it to be, so the agency found it could claim four-Million more than it had. For the rest, there’s an enhanced federal match for child protective services, which will make up the last of the money cut by the state. The “new money” is a onetime fix for this fiscal year only, and Munns explains the agency will have to find new sources from here on, and hope an improving state economy brings more funding from the state budget.
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