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One of D.C.’s main health care providers for the Latino community is facing a financial crisis. According to a recent story in El Tiempo Latino, la Clinical del Pueblo has a deficit of $500 thousand and may have to cut services soon without a bailout. The clinic serves more than 7,000 clients, most of whom are recent immigrants.
Manuela Sifuentes, a project manager at the clinic, says the cash-flow problems stem from the facility’s recent growth. Last summer, the federal government awarded the center certification as a federally qualified health center, which meant they could bill Medicaid at a higher rate and get access to additional grants and other federal funds. But the status also required an immediate expansion of services, which meant spending money they didn’t yet have. Sifuentes says the cost of the expansion wiped out the center’s cash on hand, so while they have a solid financial plan for the future, day to day bills are piling up.
The clinic is talking with the city about possible plans for addressing the crisis and an anonymous donor recently wrote a check for $50,000. The donor has promised to write another check if the clinic can raise a matching $50,000 in donations over the next month. Donations are being accepted here.