During Budget hearings, the Board requested that in the future staff present an overview of the Community Clinics and their funding. At the 11/16/99 Public Health Committee meeting, Jane Norbin, Director of Health Policy and Planning, presented a historical overview of the clinics’ development and the county funding process.
In the mid 60s, the clinics were formed by community members who needed access to low-cost health care. By 1998, through contract based on previous year allocations, the county subsidized Community Clinics to the tune of $1,048,000. These dollars are still primarily directed toward the uninsured/underinsured Ramsey County resident. Janice’s question is: "In this limited dollar atmosphere, what are we getting for each county dollar spent? I think that it is important to prioritize our health needs and to direct county dollars toward those needs. Are there other providers within the community that can deliver services as efficiently or as good for the same or less? We don’t know because we haven’t prioritized our health needs within our communities. Maybe we are getting the best bang for our dollar, but until we prioritize and analyze outcome, we will not know. I strongly believe that through the Request for Proposal (RFP) process, we will find out facts and we will utilize our dollars to the utmost."
The discussion shall continue.