County urgent care services will move from the old Scenic Hospital emergency room to the Paradise Medical Office by Feb. 1.
The Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors agreed to the move Tuesday, along with consolidating the Medically Indigent Adult Program at the Paradise Medical Office. The vote was 4-0, with Supervisor Tom Mayfield absent.
The moves are part of a larger strategy the county is working on to eliminate a $6.2 million gap in the county Health Systems Agency budget. The hours and capacity of the Urgent Care Center were cut back recently as part of that effort.
The Urgent Care Center now operates as an after-hours clinic and does not provide acute care, Supervisor Jeff Grover said.
Moving the urgent care services to Paradise Medical Office will allow a more efficient use of that building and its medical staff, according to Pierce Leavell. He is a consultant with HFS Consultants, a company working with the county to reduce spending on health. About 40 percent of the urgent care patients come from the Paradise Medical Office, he said.
The county has no plans to reuse the Scenic Hospital emergency room space, said Mary Ann Lee, HSA director. The HSA's specialty clinics and administrative offices are in the old hospital.
Grover said changing state laws will make the old hospital unusable for public health care in the future. A committee is looking at future uses for the old hospital, he said.
The Medically Indigent Adult Program now is served out of several facilities around the county. The program is mandated by law for patients who do not qualify for Medi-Cal or other low- income health insurance programs.
About 6,000 patients use the MIA program each year, and 23 percent of them come to the Paradise Medical Office, Leavell said.
The moves approved this summer and Tuesday are expected to eliminate the HSA deficit in the next budget year, Lee said. The current budget year probably will run a $4.2 million deficit because the changes haven't been in effect for the entire year, she said.
Bee staff writer Tim Moran can be reached email@example.com or 578-2349.