[nfbmi-talk] Fw: dhhs to stop charging for lead testing

David Robinson drob1946 at gmail.com
Sun Feb 14 00:08:27 UTC 2016

----- Original Message ----- 
From: joe harcz Comcast 
To: Mary Ann Robinson NFB MI 
Cc: David Robinson NFB MI ; Georgia Kitchen FANFB ; Sarah Gravetti MISILC DNM ; Rodney Craig MISILC ; Darma Canter ; Eleanor Canter 
Sent: Saturday, February 13, 2016 12:31 PM
Subject: dhhs to stop charging for lead testing

Please circulate to anyone you know of in genesee county    
State health agency asks Genesee to halt test charges Chad Livengood, Detroit News Lansing Bureau The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on

Friday asked the Genesee County Health Department to stop its laboratory from charging low-income Flint residents for testing their blood for potential

toxic lead. Department Director Nick Lyon said the state wants to cover the cost of the $36 tests for any adult or child in Flint who doesn't have health

insurance or whose insurer doesn't cover tests for lead in their bloodstream. 'Please suspend immediately any requirement for out-of-pocket payment,' Lyon

wrote in a letter to Genesee County health officer Mark Valacak. A private laboratory under contract had been directly billing patients from Flint who

came to get their blood tested for lead in light of the city's lead-contaminated water, said Geralyn Lasher, deputy director for external communication

at the Department of Health and Human Services. The state health department had heard complaints from Flint residents about the direct billing for the

blood tests, prompting Lyon to issue his letter Friday, Lasher said. 'We said 'We don't want that to happen. We want to make sure we're covering the cost,'

Lasher said. State health officials have encouraged Flint residents to get their blood tested for lead, while stressing the importance for homeowners to

have their tap water tested for lead. The state health department is providing any Flint resident with free water testing kits as well as faucet filters

and bottled water while the city's drinking water remains unsafe to drink unfiltered. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants all Flint children

under age six to have their blood tested for lead by April 1. Lead poisoning causes permanent brain damage to children, affecting their behavior and ability

to learn. Valacak could not be reached for comment Friday. The Genesee County Health Department was closed Friday for a mandatory employee furlough that

was paired with the President's Day holiday on Monday. clivengood at detroitnews.com (517) 371-3660 Twitter.com/ChadLivengood


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