Thursday, March 28, 2019

Two Clinics: Is One of Them to Get Special City Funding?

**Edited to add the Commissioners Court letter info.
There are two health clinics in the soon to be closing Wysong Building on Virginia and 75 that need new homes. One of them, the Community Health Clinic, is a free clinic that has been operating in McKinney since 2004.  It exists on a shoe-string budget of mostly volunteer medical staff, and it services the neediest members of our community. The other health clinic is a Federally Qualified Health Clinic (FQHC) called the Family Health Center at Virginia Parkway. It has been in operation since January of 2018 and it mainly serves Medicare and Medicaid patients with an all paid staff.

The FQHC is backed by Independent Bank and they have asked the city of McKinney to enter into a Public Private Partnership to help pay the expenses of building in a new location. **According to this letter from May of 2018, Independent Bank asked the Collin County Commissioners Court for $1M, but they rejected it. In the letter, IB said they will ask the city of McKinney for $2.5M.

City residents should be asking many questions about this potential partnership:
  1. Why is the city and City Council all of a sudden wanting to get into the health care business?
  2. Why isn't Independent Bank offering the FQHC a loan instead of asking the city to help pay? 
  3. Why is the city being asked to help Independent Bank meet its Community Reinvestment Act requirements? Read about it here.
  4. Why is a free clinic getting city help through normal city channels--via community support grants--and this FQHC isn't? 
  5. Why is the city and City Council going to help the FQHC with funding when the MCDC said no to the same request in 2015?
  6. Independent Bank got a handsome incentive package for building its new HQ in Craig Ranch. Is the city funding help for the FQHC part of it, unofficially? 
For those who are not aware of the differences between free clinics and FQHCs, see the chart below or click on the link for the entire comparison provided by the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics.

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