Summit Community Care Clinic facing $400,000 budget gap, asks towns for help |

Summit Community Care Clinic facing $400,000 budget gap, asks towns for help

Representatives of the Summit County Care Clinic and Summit School District met with the Frisco Town Council on Tuesday afternoon to ask for $20,000 in addition to other health care grants awarded by the town. Several weeks ago, the SCCC secured a $100,000 pledge from the town council of Breckenridge to cover the next two years. The clinic is also asking Silverthorne for $20,000 and Dillon for $10,000.

The money is needed to help close a budget shortfall of around $400,000, which is largely the result of an unexpected increase in the county’s uninsured rate. The SCCC hoped to have only 50 percent uninsured patients this year, but after the collapse of major health insurance co-op Colorado HealthOP, about 60 percent of its patients don’t have coverage. This is unsustainable under the clinic’s current budget of $7.4 million, according to the representatives, and unless more funds are found, they say they may have to consider reducing clinic access, cutting costs or cutting services. Potentially at risk are the clinic’s behavioral health services. These are particularly vital in Summit County schools, where there were a 20 percent increase in mental health visits last year.

After the meeting the clinic’s chief operating officer, Helen Royal, said that schools and the community are the clinic’s number one priority, and that there was no specific timetable for any reduction of services. She stressed that the clinic has a wide range of options for how to deal with its funding issues, but also hoped that the town councils would appreciate the SCCC’s importance to the community and offer some financial assistance.

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