Knox County helps local health care providers absorb the costs of treating 1,100 of the county's poorest residents. The indigent care program was adopted about three decades ago. The program's budget reached a high-water mark in 2007 and has been pared back since. This spring, Knox County's health department asked for a funding boost (to $4.5 million - a $200,000 increase). County mayor Glenn Jacobs had different plans. He asked for a thirty-percent cut. In early June, Knox County commissioners approved his request.
What happens now? And what factors did the county consider when making its decision? Economist Matt Harris has taken a close look, and in this edition of HealthConnections he speaks about the indigent care program with Dr. Carole Myers.