The Davis County Health Board will support a recommended change in the state health program funding formula, even though Davis will not as a result receive much in the way of increased funding.

The board narrowly defeated a recommendation by board member Steve Romney that the county reject the proposal and instead support a call for a formula based directly on the percentage of funding contributed to the health budget by the local health district.Romney said he believes the proposed formula still provides an unbalanced subsidy to rural health districts that pay a smaller portion of their entire budget from local tax revenues.

The new formula, the subject of a series of public hearings this month, does shift a greater portion of the state's $1.2 million contribution to urban health districts, especially those serving high numbers of low-income people. The Salt Lake County Health District is the biggest beneficiary, with projections showing an increased funding of more than $39,000. Davis will get about $1,500 more than in the past.

Rural health districts will lose substantially under the formula, and to mitigate the impact of the funding reduction, a three-year phase-in process has been proposed.

Board member Blaine Taggart supported Romney's plan. However, Chairman Julia Wright and board members Richard Wallin and Geraldine Matsumura voted against the proposal.

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In other business, the board approved changes in some service fees. Because of increased charges from the state, the board will raise the fee for DPT immunizations from $2 to $8. Also, the county will begin charging a $5 fee for AIDS testing and counseling, and the charge for preschool physical examinations will go from $7 to $10.

To ensure that low-income families are not unduly impacted, the county will continue to use a sliding fee where appropriate, charging only what families are financially able to afford.

Other fees that will be imposed include a $15 fee for a cholesterol follow-up test packet that is used by those identified as having elevated cholesterol levels during a screening process, and a $10 fee for residential asbestos testing and $25 for commercial establishments.

The fees will take effect June 1 except for the asbestos testing, which goes into effect immediately.

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