"It's time and it makes sense to us," Hagstrom says
The West Side Health Care District is going to vote Thursday on a plan to take over operation of the West Side Urgent Care.
The urgent care has been operated for the last nine years by Emergency Medical Services Group under contract to the district. Health Care Board President Chuck Hagstrom said the board has been discussing the issue and feels the district is ready to take over operation of the clinic at 101 E. North Street.
“I just think it's time...it's a logical progression for us to move in that direction," he said. "It's time and it makes sense to us.”
Hagstrom said the balls started rolling last year when the district was preparing to begin providing medical services for the city's Community Correctional Facility when it looked like Taft was going to contract with L.A. County to house inmates here.
That deal fell though, the but the district moved ahead with its other plans and goals.
If the board does indeed vote to terminate its contract with EMSG, who has operated the clinic for the district sense it opened in January 2004, it could free up revenue for the district, money that could be used to fund more urgent care services or be used for other district projects.
The district has been subsidizing the urgent by about $500,000 per year and much of that is a fee to the for-profit EMSG.
“It should be a cost savings to us. I can't say it will be a substantial cost saving to us because we may roll that money back into the urgent care in the form of new services,” Hagstrom said. “Our goal is to provide as many services as we can and break even.”
The district would outsource for most of the operation of the urgent care, including billing, medical staff and other functions.
Hagstrom said the proposed termination has nothing to do with the way EMSG operated the clinic.
“They've done a great job,” he said. “It's nothing to do with them. It's just time.”