LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Nevada lawmakers face a daunting state budget deficit and with it may make drastic cuts to the state's health department in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
Proposed budget cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services total $233 million. Of those cuts, proposed cuts to Medicaid total more than $140 million, with some services limited and others completely eliminated.
Limited services would include:
- Eliminate adult dental and limit dental services for pregnant women and children: ($28.1 M)
- Physical therapy for adults: limited to twelve sessions ($1.2 M)
- Hospice: eliminates certain duplicative services from being provided in the home ($0.9 M)
Eliminated "optional" services would include:
- Delay implementation of Tenancy Support Services: ($1.3 M)
- Biofeedback & Neuropathy ($6.9 M)
- Optometry for adults: ($3.2 M)
- Prosthetic Devices for Adults: ($2.1 M)
- Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services for Adults ($1.6 M)
- Basic Skills Training for Adults: ($1.0 M)
- Private Duty Nursing for Adults: ($1.0 M)
- Occupational Therapy for Adults ($0.7 M)
- Podiatry for Adults ($0.5 M)
- Behavioral Health Case Management for non SMI: ($0.2 M)
- Bariatric surgery for adults: ($0.2 M)
- Chiropractic services for adults ($15K)
DHHS officials acknowledges that while many services are listed as optional, they are necessary for some Medicaid users. The services were deemed as optional by the federal government, DHHS said.
Mental health services would be reduced by $19.1 million under the state health department's proposal, with the Southern and Northern Adult Mental Health Services agencies accounting to $10.3 million.
The cuts are largely made up of freezing vacant positions.
Local school superintendents and education officials also made presentations to the Nevada State Senate Thursday after Washoe County School District made approvals for the school's reopening plans.
Clark County School District was set to approve its reopening plan during a school board meeting Thursday night. However, superintendents agreed that determining reopening plans was difficult while in limbo awaiting education budget decisions.
Federal CARES Act money isn't expected to help with the large gap in budget, as superintendents said they plan on using the CARES Act money to buy the necessary technology and resources to accommodate reopening plans for the next school year. For CCSD, Supt. Dr. Jesus Jara said the district needs to buy 96,000 Chromebooks for next year and that there is currently no budget to provide WiFi hot spots for students.
Both superintendents from CCSD and WCSD said they want to avoid any cuts to the Distributive School Account, which largely funds teacher salaries.
UNLV's engineering building led the proposed public works budget cuts, estimated at a total of $72.6 million.
The engineering building accounts for $20 million of the proposed cuts. Other various public health cuts included replacing doors, locks and water cooling stations at Nevada correctional facilities.