Newsroom

Press Release

State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Rick Scott
Governor

David E. Wilkins
Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2012
MEDIA CONTACT:
John Harrell, (904) 723-5470/(904) 233-7792

STATEMENT REGARDING SUBSTANCE ABUSE, MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
IN ST. JOHNS, PUTNAM COUNTIES

DCF and Putnam/St. Johns Behavioral Health Care have mutually agreed that DCF's contract for Putnam/St. Johns to provide mental health services and substance abuse treatment in St. Johns and Putnam counties will be terminated. As part of this mutual agreement, Putnam/St. Johns will cease providing these services on January 31, 2012.

We at DCF have had concerns regarding Putnam/St. Johns’ billing practices, financial stability, and their ability to continue to provide services. We have informed their agency of our concerns over the past few months.

DCF believes that Putnam/St. Johns owes the state nearly $300,000 due to Medicaid billing errors and future services that have been previously paid for but will be cancelled due to the termination of this contract. DCF is working to complete an audit of Putnam/St Johns to identify the actual amount owed.

We must be responsible to the people who need these services as well as the taxpayers. The possibility that these services could suddenly be stopped without warning is unacceptable.

It is crucial that people in St. Johns and Putnam counties who need mental health services and substance abuse treatment continue to be able to receive these services in the counties that they live in. We are taking several steps to help ensure that this will happen. We are currently negotiating for a new provider to take over services for these counties, effective February 1.

Additionally, we are asking officials in both St. Johns and Putnam counties to continue to provide facilities for people to receive these mental health and substance abuse services. Counties are required to give matching resources in providing these services to their communities. We will also encourage any new provider to hire the frontline employees who have been providing substance abuse and mental health services in these counties.

DCF is dedicated to making sure that there will be a smooth transition of services in these counties.

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