CCFHC here to serve

The Capital City Family Health Center iterates it does not turn patients away due to financial status or income level.

The Capital City Family Health Center in Donaldsonville is a Federally Qualified Health Center. With that distinction it cannot turn patients away. Nidel Robbins, Marketing for CCFHC, said the center wants to iterate it does not and cannot turn patients away, as part of a mandate no matter the condition.

In the January 30 issue of the Donaldsonville Chief, an article was published entitled, “Parish, city health unit could consolidate in Donaldsonville,” and Robbins, along with Christina Claiborne, Interim CEO and Human Resources Director of CCFHC, Rose Forest, Former CEO, said they thought there were references to the CCFHC in it when it mentioned FQHC’s.

In the article, Ascension Parish Health Services Director Kenny Matassa was quoted as saying, ”the FQHC is now saying they do not have money for the treatment of indigent people.”

However, Forest, said that’s not true.

“Our responsibility is to see the people, all people, and we are prohibited from turning people away,” Forest said.

“I think it was more of what he was repeating from what someone else said more than what he knew,” Forest said. “They need to know we cannot turn people away and we would jeopardize our federal funding if we turn people away.”

The CCFHC has a sliding fee scale that is approved by a board and is monitored at the federal level to make sure it’s in place. There are signs posted around the clinic that says it cannot turn anyone away because of inability to pay, according to Forest.

Claiborne said she doesn’t know where that statement came from, but the CCFHC is the only FQHC in Donaldsonville and it does indeed serve the indigent people.

Robbins said their main concern is that they are” here and are separate from the parish and city, we’re federally funded.”

“We offer a sliding fee scale according to household income, not a free service, but available to all,” Robbins said.

Claiborne added, “We’ll be put in jeopardy if we turn anybody away, and if people keep saying that it could put us in jeopardy as well. We need it to be clear that we are not turning people away.”

Forest said the CCFHC needs to probably meet with the parish and the City of Donaldsonville about what resources could be combined to move forward for the people because now they are the one’s being hurt. The people of Donaldsonville are not getting the services that their millage is paying for and that we are supposed to be providing as a FQHC.