Community Clinics Experiencing Increasing Patient Demand
The San Diego County Council of Community Clinics is preparing for an increased demand in charity care because of the county's growing population, the San Diego Business Journal reports.
Officials at the council, which oversees almost 90 community clinics, say that 80% of the clinics' patients are the working uninsured or underinsured. A recent study on the clinics, conducted by Abaris Group, found that they would serve two million people annually by 2025, a 32% increase.
The recent purchase of not-for-profit Paradise Valley Hospital by a for-profit company also will increase patient demand for the clinics, council officials said. The hospital last month terminated a contract that serves 9,400 Medi-Cal beneficiaries.
Along with increasing patient demand, the clinics also face Medi-Cal reimbursement rates that are among the lowest in the nation, according to the California HealthCare Foundation.
A council task force is investigating available computer systems to share medical records among the clinics and is creating partnerships with local businesses that do not provide insurance to notify employees of the clinics (Weeks, San Diego Business Journal, 12/11).