Federal and state governments are preparing for changes in the health care delivery system for the low income population as part of health care reform. Traverse Health Clinic, a major local health safety net provider has already begun to experience a reduction in revenues as part of these changes associated with reform.
Federal and state governments are revising revenue sources and programs that support health care services for the low income population. These changes will significantly impact Clinic revnues. In fact, some of the existing program revenues supporting the Clinic have already begun to decline. Additionally, projections indicate that other major sources of government revenue will be eliminated two years earlier than previously expected.
Beginning in 2014, low income, currently uninsured persons will be able to receive health care coverage through expanded Medicaid programs and subsidized health plans offered on state exhanges. Traverse Health Clinic is making the changes necessary to continue to serve low income individuals in a manner that will make the Clinic eligible for new revenue sources that will replace those that are being eliminated.
Traverse Health Clinic has strong community support and is viewed as an important safety net provider for primay care services in the greater Grand Traverse region. With the transitions that are underway to meet the health care system requirements of the future, the Clinic will be well-prepared to meet the changes of health reform that are occurring now as well as in the future.
However, during a transition period, the Traverse Health Clinic is facing a revenue shortfall. As a result, the Clinic must reduce its expenditures to match its reduced revenues during this period. “The Clinic has been exploring all possible options to reduce costs in a way that minimizes impact on our patients and services,” stated Arlene Brennan, Executive Director. “This will result in a reorganization of some of our activities and a consolidation of some services.” In the short term, reducing expenses means that the Clinic will be experiening a reduction representing 10% to 20% of their workforce.
The onsite primary care clinic will continue to be open 5 days a week to serve existing and new patients. All programs that Traverse Health Clinic provides are continuing, although some modifications in the scope of certain services will occur. New enrollment in “CHAP”, the volunteer access program, will be limited. All current CHAP members who continue to meet eligibility criteria and recertify for the program will maintain the benfits of the CHAP program.