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CASS COUNTY BOARD: Drug discount cards distributed

WALKER — Cass County has sent a new prescription drug discount cards to all residents within the last week that provides up to 20 percent discount on brand name drugs and up to 50 percent discount on generics.

Jamie Richter, Cass County health services director, told the county board Tuesday she has received very positive public response from those using the card so far. All pharmacies inside the county will accept the card, she said.

For information about pharmacies recognizing the card outside the county, call (888) 844-7713.

It is expected that people who are under insured or uninsured will benefit the most, she said.

Purchases made with the card will not be recorded with other insurers, so they will not count toward deductibles on an insurance policy, nor will they add to purchase records for someone in the uncovered “donut hole” on Medicare Part D prescription plans, she warned.

It can, however, benefit a fully insured family, because it also covers medicines for the family pet when prescribed by a veterinarian. This card and its program replace a card the county formerly offered a few years ago.

 Richter reported to the board that Sanford Health has considered offering countywide home care services for Cass, but so far has not provided a plan, so the county will continue to provide those nursing and aide services.

A number of private agencies also offer home care services, but none provided it throughout the county, she said. Cass has offered home care since 1967.

She reported the county has received an extension of its Statewide Health Improvement Program grant through the end of this year, $21,519. Under changes in the state laws, the county will have to complete with other counties for project-specific SHIP grants in the future.

Cass will use its extension grant this year to try to improve physical activity and nutrition in schools.

 Cass County Health, Human and Veterans Services spent 57.25 percent of that department’s 2011 budget after 66.67 percent of the year, about in line with the 57 percent of budget spent on out of home child placements.

Through August, the county spent $475,750 to place children in correctional facilities, $512,725 for group homes, $300,072 for foster care, $77,993 for emergency shelters and $59,145 for respite or home monitoring or other miscellaneous services.