YNHH and New Haven clinics open primary care center, despite transportation barriers and higher costs for patients and the state

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On Monday, Yale New-Haven Health System with the Fairhaven and Cornell Scott Hill health centers announced the opening of their merged primary care clinic on Long Wharf. YNHH is closing their three neighborhood primary care clinics and moving healthcare for over 25,000 low income patients to the remote site. Community members find the transportation plans inadequate and are concerned that people will miss critical preventive care. Patients will technically become community health center patients but will see the same YNHH clinicians. Advocates are concerned that patients will suffer from the lower quality of care for community health center patients. Community health centers get about three times the payment rate per visit as other Medicaid providers. About 6,000 New Haven uninsured patients with no income will have to pay a minimum of $20 for each visit; patients with higher incomes will pay more. YNHH is paying executives at each community health center $68,665 in bonuses to complete the deal.

The plan drew dozens of New Haven community members to the Certificate of Need public hearing almost two years ago. Despite the controversy, reduced access, and increased costs to consumers and to Medicaid, the state Office of Health Strategy approved the application in August 2019.