Proposed Sacramento Health Clinic Would Provide Primary Care to Uninsured Residents
The Mexican American Alcoholism Program plans to build a community clinic that would provide medical, dental and mental health care in south Sacramento, an area with a high number of uninsured residents, the Sacramento Bee reports. According to MAAP Executive Director George de la Mora, the clinic would serve up to 200 patients per day. A study conducted by California State University-Sacramento found that at least 250,000 Sacramento-area residents lack health insurance. "There's no facility in Sacramento that addresses the health needs of the working poor," de la Mora said. State Sen. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento), who helped insert $150,000 for the clinic in the recently passed state budget, said, "These individuals lack access to health care and suffer unnecessarily from preventable conditions. They don't see a doctor until they are very, very sick, and then they go to emergency rooms." The Bee reports that the clinic is "only the first step toward a model health care delivery system" that would rely on community clinics and local hospitals. Under the system, clinics would provide primary care to the uninsured and refer patients who require inpatient care to hospitals, while hospitals -- "now overwhelmed by non-urgent visits" to emergency rooms -- would refer patients to participating clinics. To fund the network, De la Mora said that not-for-profit clinics would donate a portion of the funds they receive from state, federal and philanthropic sources, while hospitals would contribute a share of the savings resulting from referring outpatient services to participating clinics (Martinez, Sacramento Bee, 7/31).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.