Letter: Cutbacks impact affordable care



As chair and on behalf of The Vancouver Clinic board of directors, I am writing in support of Columbia United Providers. CUP is a health care plan that strives to achieve the goals of health care reform and higher quality medical care for all at lower cost. CUP provides regular feedback on quality metrics to the providers. To the sickest patients, CUP assigns case managers who work closely with providers to reduce hospitalizations and emergency room visits. CUP has a well managed prescription formulary; CUP providers are careful to use generic medications whenever possible. These interventions result in better care at a lower cost.

The Vancouver Clinic employs close to 1,000 people. Like other businesses in this struggling economy, we face significant challenges. It is important to us to care for our fair share of the underprivileged in our community. We provide access to affordable care, which reduces costs by preventing emergency room visits. CUP shares the savings with us; the end result is an acceptable level of compensation for our services.

Finally, we have concerns that the companies that have been awarded Medicaid contracts have promised something they cannot deliver: a functional network of providers in Clark County. Without such a network, 47,000 women and children risk losing access to affordable health care.

Sharon Crowell