Not-For-Profit Organization Promotes Voluntary Copays To Address Stanislaus County Health System Deficit
Not-for-profit Congregations Building Community is proposing that patients pay a voluntary copay of $10 to $15 for doctor visits in clinics run by Stanislaus County's health system in an effort to alleviate financial strain, the Modesto Bee reports. In order to avert service cuts, CBC also has suggested that the county:
- Limit administrative expenses;
- Conduct a cost-efficiency analysis of the Health Services Agency;
- Partner with Golden Valley Health Centers, which receives higher reimbursement levels because of its federally qualified status than county-run facilities, to operate two or three clinics; and
- Request contributions from Kaiser Permanente and other hospital groups in the community.
CBC officials said their proposals could save the county $8 million to $14 million annually, but county officials believe the estimates are "overblown," according to the Bee.
A group contracted by the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors to study county health services is expected to issue recommendations in July. One proposal is for county clinics to seek qualification for federal health center status, which would increase Medi-Cal reimbursements to county-run facilities.
Stanislaus County CEO Rick Robinson said that another option is state legislation that could provide as much as $2.4 million to health clinics in the county. Robinson said that contributions from patients would help, but he is not sure the voluntary system would be successful. "As we all know, money is tight and contributions of a voluntary nature are difficult to come by," he said (Carlson, Modesto Bee, 5/26).