State Health Department closes clinics, reduces hours - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

State Health Department closes clinics, reduces hours

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Fewer patients seeking care at state clinics and reduced revenue have prompted the State Department of Health to close clinics and reduce hours and staff. 

Health officials attribute patient loss to those who are now insured and getting health care through the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Managed Care.

Approximately 97,909 people in Mississippi have signed up for health care coverage through Healthcare.gov. An estimated 9,186 people are enrolled in the Biloxi-Gulfport area.

On January 4th, the Biloxi clinic in Harrison county closed. It is one of nine state department clinics that will end operations.

Other closures include the Ashland clinic in Benton County, Bolivar county's Rosedale clinic, the Hollandale and Cleveland clinics in Washington County, Heidelberg in Jasper County, Newton in Newton County, Taylorsville in Smith County and Ocean Springs in Jackson County.

For remaining clinics statewide; starting February first, days of operation could be reduced, but officials say services will remain.

MSDH Spokeswoman Liz Sharlot said several months of study led to the decision to close clinics, mainly because of the limited number of patients seeking care.

She said fees for services have not increased in 20 years.

However, MSDH will no longer offer maternity services. Those patients will be given referrals.

35 full time jobs and 29 contract positions will also be eliminated.

The State Health Department is now looking to the legislature for relief.

They are asking for a one time allocation of $18.5 million dollars.

Click here for a list of clinic locations, closures and changes in hours of operation.   

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