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Government / IPBS

Governor's Public Health Commission debates funding recommendations, nears final report

Indiana will likely need tens to hundreds of millions of dollars more in public health funding just to match the national average.

The Governor’s Public Health Commission met Thursday to discuss potential recommendations it will make when it comes to how much Indiana spends on public health.

The national average in such spending is about $90 per person. Indiana spends $55 per person at the state level. At the local level, it’s worse.

And State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box noted that funding gap doesn’t even cover all of Indiana’s health needs.

“This doesn’t really cover what we need for trauma and it doesn’t cover EMS," Box said. "It doesn’t cover making sure every school has access to a nurse, a school nurse.”

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Hendricks County Commissioner Dennis Dawes said accountability and transparency will be key when making a case to state and local elected officials to boost health spending.

“If we put more money into public health, what is – and you use it in here – what’s the return on investment, or what’s the outcome gonna be?” Dawes said.

Other proposed recommendations include making it easier for local health departments to get access to all the funding they can. That includes helping them with grant proposals and Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.

The commission’s final report is expected later this year.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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