Community Clinics Face Financial Pain From Budget Impasse
Monday, August 23, 2010
As California's budget impasse drags on, community clinics are bracing for some financial pain. Beginning this week, the state will no longer pay clinics for Medi-Cal services.
SAN DIEGO As California's budget impasse drags on, community clinics are bracing for some financial pain. Beginning this week, the state will no longer pay clinics for Medi-Cal services.
California's new budget is more than 50 days late. The reserve fund the state uses during budget delays is empty. That means more than 1,000 health providers statewide won't be getting paid for care delivered to Medi-Cal patients.
Tracy Ream directs Neighborhood Healthcare, which has 11 community clinics in San Diego and Riverside Counties. She says it all depends on how long the budget crisis drags on.
"If it goes for a short period of time, we'll be fine," Ream said. "If it goes for more than a month or two, I think not just our health center, but all of the health centers throughout California will really be struggling."
Ream says her organization has just started tapping into its reserve fund. She says some community clinics don't have one.
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