Planned Parenthood plans to close locations in Richmond, Pittsburg and Vacaville, as the women’s health organization struggles to collect payment for services for c, officials at the nonprofit said.
The three health centers will shut down June 30, said Miriam Gerace, communications director for Planned Parenthood of Northern California. It is part of a wave of closures that is also affecting Iowa, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico, where a combined 10 facilities will shutter by the end of June.
“We’re continually looking for ways to streamline and find efficiencies,” Gerace said. “This is part of that effort. This was done in a careful, deliberate way to ensure our long-term stability.”
The California closures were reported earlier by the Sacramento Bee.
Planned Parenthood has for years been targeted by conservatives who say the federal government should not financially support health organizations that provide abortions, even if federal dollars are not used for abortion services. In May, the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act — the Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act — which would prohibit federal dollars from going to Planned Parenthood for one year, though the bill has not yet been taken up by the Senate.
Planned Parenthood says 98 percent of the services it provides to patients in the region are pregnancy tests, contraception, sex education, cancer screenings, and testing for and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. The 2 percent that consists of abortions is funded by the state, not federal Medicaid dollars.
Gerace said the local closures are largely due to low reimbursement rates in California for providers that serve Medi-Cal patients. About 87 percent of Planned Parenthood patients in California are on Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid insurance program for the poor.
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SOURCE: SF Gate, Catherine Ho