Community Health Care Center, Cascade County continuing steps to formalize split
Cascade County and the Community Health Care Center are continuing the process to split the agencies.
This spring, the county and CHCC announced that the center would be spinning off as a stand alone agency.
During Tuesday’s County Commission meeting, several contracts are on the agenda to formalize the split including a resolution to relinquish about $400,000 from county accounts to CHCC.
Trista Besich, CHCC chief executive officer, told The Electric that the funds are not taxpayer dollars but are revenues generated by health center operations.
CHCC has been putting those funds into their reserve to prepare for the transition to becoming a standalone agency since new hires won’t be county employees and they’ll be establishing their own IT operations and legal counsel, among other operating costs.
“This has been discussed for probably six years,” Commissioner Jane Weber said of the split, which is set to be finalized by the end of the year.
The resolution to relinquish funds is a formal way to document the transition within county budgets and records, said Carey Ann Haight, chief of the civil division for the County Attorney’s Office.
The agreement will require CHCC to report to the county how those funds are being used and the county would be able to take back those funds if there comes a time they aren’t being used appropriately, Haight said.
The center is federally funded and open to those at 200 percent of the poverty level or below. Besich said there are 32,000 people in Cascade County in that category.
The federal poverty level for 2018, according to healthcare.gov, is $12,140 for an individual and 200 percent of the poverty level is $24,280.
The center is set up as a non-profit with a governing board.
Cascade County City-County Health Department opened the center in 1994 to support increased access to care for the uninsured, underinsured and underserved patients. In 2012, the CHCC started operating as a separate department within the county with a long-term goal of becoming an independent agency, according to CHCC.
CHCC recently opened its new dental clinic in the Machinery Row building and has been expanding operations significantly over the last year by adding several new providers. The center has also been shifting office space around to make more room for medical services.