ORANGE COUNTY: Cal State Long Beach Set to House CASA de Salud
CASA de Salud, the "House of Health" -- a Santa Ana free clinic run by Orange County and Cal State Long Beach (CSLB) -- is about to be turned over to the university, which solely will operate the facility thereafter, the Los Angeles Times reports. Pending receipt of a clinic license and insurance, CSLB will fund and run the primary care clinic as a "training ground" for 35 to 40 nurse practitioner students each year. The center opened in July after the closure of the Free Health Plan clinic, which served Santa Ana and Costa Mesa. "Having this clinic is a real big deal. The old one closed so suddenly, it really was such an upsetting thing for the community," Dr. Herbert Rosenzweig, director of medical services at the Orange County Health Care Agency, said. Under the auspices of the university, clinic officials expect to care for about 6,000 mostly poor and Latino patients, who must pay $10 per visit and cover the cost of prescriptions and lab tests. The school, however, hopes drug companies eventually will subsidize some prescription drug costs. The university also will receive $100,000 in "bridge" funds from the county and $50,000 each from Kaiser Permanente and CalOptima -- Orange County's managed care plan for the poor -- to help ease the transition. County Board of Supervisors Chair Chuck Smith and the other supervisors supported the county's operation of the clinic as an "emergency fix" until the long-term university plan was devised. Calling the arrangement a "win-win situation," he said, "I was proud that community agencies joined with the county during this emergency to raise money, offer space and services. Student nurses (now) have an opportunity to gain experience in a clinic setting, and our community will be cared for by a first- rate medical staff" (Warren, Los Angeles Times, 12/8).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.