In response to "More cuts at county clinic" (Oct. 17, Page A-1): To preserve its primary-care clinic system, the county is eliminating some Health Services Agency services that can be covered by other providers. The outstanding efforts of the HSA should be recognized because finding ways to keep the clinics open will help 70,000 to 80,000 low-income, underinsured and uninsured county residents.
The HSA provides over 200,000 patient visits every year, takes care of public health (such as providing 2,000 free flu vaccinations), and trains physicians through its Family Residency Program. Yet the county is only required to take care of medically indigent adults, about 6,000 of the 80,000 annual patients. Federal reimbursement will not fully fund the clinic system. The reimbursement is only for Medi-Cal and Medicare primary care services; it does not apply to the uninsured or to specialty care services. What happens to those who work but cannot afford insurance, or earn too much to quality for Medi-Cal?
The HSA Foundation has been raising funds to benefit the Health Services Agency for 25 years. It fosters programs and activities that lead to the improvement of the health and well-being of all residents. We need your support and donations.