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Clackamas County dealing with revenue shortfalls from primary care health clinics

Clackamas County Health Housing and Human Services (H3S) has announced the layoff of 25 full-time equivalent employees, and is implementing oversight measures to help fill a significant funding gap from the operation of its primary health clinics.

The original gap is approximately $10 million, but H3S has implemented measures, including staff reductions and additional expense cuts, to lower the remaining shortfall to a deficit of $2.5 million between now and the end of the fiscal year, June 30.

No decision has yet been made how the shortfall will be made up.

The funding shortfall will have no immediate effect on patient services and at this point the county has no current plans to close or scale back services at the health clinics. The county operates three primary care clinics in Oregon City, Sunnyside, and Sandy.

County Commissioners are scheduled to discuss the situation and consider steps going forward at a meeting Tuesday, Feb. 4.

In response to the shortfall, H3S is implementing new measures to increase clinic revenues, reduce expenses and to enhance systems to better track revenue and expenses.

The majority of laid off employees worked in business and support services. Three management positions were also eliminated.

"This is a tough situation that we believe is a short-term setback," said Health Housing and Human Services Director Cindy Becker. "Making these difficult decisions now puts us in a position to stabilize our financial position over the next year."

"We regret the need to layoff any employees, but there was no other way to achieve the cost savings or to move forward and take the steps needed to resolve this," she said.

For more information please contact Tim Heider at 503-742-5911 or theider@clackamas.us

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