Monday, November 9, 2009

L&F's Mercy Clinic funded through year 2012

Funding for The Mercy Clinic at the Loaves & Fishes facility on North C Street has been extended through the year 2012, according to a news release from Congresswoman Doris Matsui, today.

The Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services has been awarded $344,621 through a federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to support outreach and primary care services for homeless people in Sacramento. The effect is that Mercy Clinic "will continue to provide area homeless with outpatient primary and public health care services — as well as inpatient and other secondary and tertiary health care services — in cooperation with local doctors and hospitals." This competitive award will allow the clinic to continue operating through 2012.

Representative Matsui is quoted in the news release as follows: “Sacramento’s homeless problems have been well-documented, and I am pleased that the federal investment being announced today will help our community address this challenge. During times of hardship, it is critical that everyone, including those that have the least among us, still have access to necessary health care, and an individual’s economic situation should not preclude them from getting the vital care and lifesaving measures they deserve.”
Update: There is a sentence in Rep. Matsui's news release that seemed surely to be inaccurate.  It was this: "In 2008, over 18,000 unique homeless patients received care from the Mercy Clinic, Loaves and Fishes."  With the count of homeless people in Sacramento totalling just 2800 as of late January, 2009, there was something amiss.  I contacted Catholic Healthcare West and was informed by Rosemary Younts, director of community benefit for the Sacramento region, that 18,000 was an incorrect figure.  Mercy Clinic, Loaves & Fishes, provides medical care in response to 3,000 patient visits each year.

By my rough calculation, there will be ~10,000 patient visits to L&F's Mercy Clinic through 2012.  Dividing the amount of the federal grant by the estimated patient visits means that the cost per patient visit will be $344,621 ÷ 10,000 = $34.46.  Not bad for a doctor visit!

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