VISALIA: Despite High Volume, Public Health Clinic Closes
Due to unexpectedly low earnings, Visalia's Kaweah Delta Community Clinic will close June 25, sending the 1,600 Medi-Cal and uninsured patients who visit it monthly elsewhere, the Fresno Bee reports. About 17 of the clinic's 22 staff members will work at the San Juan Health Center in Exeter -- a 12 mile drive from Visalia, which Kaweah Delta Vice President Sally Brewer hopes to alleviate with a transport van. "I would drive the shuttle myself," said Dr. Ron Blimling who will transfer to San Juan Health Center, adding, "It takes so long to develop rapport, and now someone else is going to have to re-establish this." Patients will also be able to access care at the Family Health Network and the Visalia Health Center, both in Visalia. The clinic, which estimates 1999 losses at $450,000, "would have received about $25 a month for each Tulare County Medi-Cal recipient who listed the clinic as the main medical provider ... but it never materialized" (6/1).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.