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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Clark Center finds innovative way to cut costs

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Clark Community Mental Health Center has entered into a rental agreement with Enterprise to provide cars for care coordinators. Pictured above with the new cars, from left, are: Suzette Huntress, vice president of operations; Jayne Helmkamp, chief financial officer; Brad Ridenour, vice president in charge of clinical services; and Frank Compton, president and chief executive officer. [Times Photo by Lisa Craft] [Order this photo]
The Clark Community Mental Health Center has entered into a rental agreement with Enterprise to provide cars to the center's care coordinators who provide in-home services to clients in Barry, Dade and Lawrence counties.

"This action was necessary as a cost-cutting measure," said Frank Compton, president and chief executive officer. "We did a lot of research and got good feed back from other agencies, so we explored it ourselves."

Last year, Clark Center spent in excess of $262,000 in reimbursement to staff to deliver services at a rate of 42 to 48 cents per mile. Projections are to save the center approximately $52,000 in the current budget.

The center has ordered 22 Nissan Sentras. Currently, 15 have arrived. Each case manager using a rental car from Enterprise will receive an Enterprise credit card and will be responsible for maintenance. The vehicles are 2012 models, and because of the economy and the tsunami causing the ordering of parts to slow down, the center received the new cars at 2011 prices.

Jayne Helmkamp, chief financial officer at the Clark Center, was in charge of the negotiating of the cars. The agreement with Enterprise includes a maintenance agreement.

To achieve the savings, the center made a few policy changes in the program. If a care coordinator wishes to provide their own transportation, the monthly reimbursement will be capped at $700 per month and they will be required to submit expense sheets for reimbursement. The care coordinator can accept the center-provided rental car, which is covered by a comprehensive rental agreement that includes a new car, gasoline, insurance and maintenance. The center-provided vehicles will be kept at the home of the care coordinator but will not be available for private use.

The Clark Center is a private not-for-profit corporation that operates primarily under contracts with two departments in Missouri. The Department of Mental Health has designated the Clark Center as their administrative agent for Barry, Dade and Lawrence counties to deliver comprehensive psychiatric services and alcohol and drug abuse services. The Clark Center is also contracted with the Division of Children's Services to provide intensive in-home services in McDonald, Newton, Jasper, Barton, Vernon, Cedar and Dade counties.

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