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Goose Lake Medical Clinic growth continues

Lake Health District’s board of directors discussed revenue generated by its Alturas-based Goose Lake Medical Services Clinic during their Oct. 3 board meeting.

Former interim Business Mgr. Janet Melsness informed the board that revenue from Modoc County zip codes amounted to $279,000 in total for the month of August, bringing the year-to-date figure up to $424,000.

Board chairman Chuck Kelley inquired upon the possibility to subsidize the clinic in order to get rid of a backlog of accrued debt.

Lake District Hospital CEO Charlie Tveit noted that Kelley’s inquiry pertains to ensuring that Medicare continues to see the clinic as a part of the district’s costs reported via its cost-based reimbursement.

Historically, the Lake Health District is defined geographically as from the California border north, Tveti said, but the district’s service area also includes Modoc County.  The service area encompasses wherever medical services are delivered by the district.

The more the district can demonstrate that Modoc County is a vital part of the service area, the greater the case that can be made for Medicare reimbursement that it is a part of the costs eligible for cost-based reimbursement, Tveit said.

Tveit noted that while there has been expense for the district related to the clinic as far as investing in its operation, there has also been a huge benefit seen in the way of increased revenue to the district.

Average monthly revenue has steadily increased through the years from the Modoc County zip codes, he said.

The average monthly revenue has grown from $82,760 in fiscal year 2011 to $212,130 in the 2013/14 fiscal year, Tveit said.

The Alturas clinic serves as a vehicle to grow business for the Lake Health District, Tveit said, just as the clinics established during the Ruby natural gas pipeline construction era provided supplementary revenue.

Patients in Modoc County face a number of challenges related to health care, with ongoing local infrastructural struggles including physician recruitment, staffing and an aging hospital facility.

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