Three health clinics in Rutland County, Vermont, may soon be separating from the Rutland Regional Medical Center and offering services under new management.
The Castleton Family Health Center, the Mettawee Valley Health Center and Brandon Internal Medicine are about to break with Rutland Regional Medical Center to be run by a new umbrella organization, Community Health Centers of the Rutland Region.
Rutland Hospital spokesman Michael Dowdy said the hospital would give up control over the clinics, which serve 40,000 to 50,000 patients a year, but will continue to subsidize them.
He said what other connections will remain between the hospital and the clinics is still being worked out.
"For example, we may continue to do their billing for them," Dowdy said.
As part of the change, the new organization is applying for status as a federally qualified health center, a move Dowdy said would increase revenue and allow for a greater range of services at the clinics.
"Last year we subsidized the clinics at $3.1 million," he said. "The added reimbursements they could get from Medicare and Medicaid designation could let us cut that by $1.5 million."
The designation, administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration's Bureau of Primary Health Care, is made available to public or privately owned not-for-profit healthcare centers and makes them eligible for higher reimbursements and a number of grant programs.
Medicare and Medicaid patients at the clinics will get reduced prices on prescription and over-the-counter drugs.