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Valley Public Radio Staff
Tue August 19, 2014
Fresno County To Eliminate Health Safety Net For Undocumented, Ending Contract For The Poor
The Fresno County Board of Supervisors voted today to end specialty health care services to its undocumented residents and took a step to end its contract for medical services for the poor.
The county took advantage of a recent court ruling to exclude undocumented residents from the program. The change would take effect December 1.
In a majority vote, the county also took a step to end its long running contract with Community Regional Medical Center for its indigent population.
But county officials say they’re working with local health officials to try to come up with possible solutions that would involve an expanded engagement of community health centers.
Steve Schilling, CEO of Clinica Sierra Vista, says he's willing to work with the county but he adds that time is of the essence.
"I just don't see the time is ever going to be enough to put together the complicated package of opportunities that I think would allow the county to keep this contract alive," he says.
The board says they will give notice to end its contract with CRMC on September 1st, following a 90 day period until services through the county’s program are ceased.
The county didn’t vote on whether to accept a deal to defer the county’s payment of $5.5 million for road funds in exchange of continuing to provide care for the medically indigent.