Our coverage of the community survey results is here.

On July 2, Unity Care COO Shanon Hardie sent a letter to clinic patients describing Unity Care's decision to leave Point Roberts. She also included the Unity Care board resolution related to this decision. Below, we print the resolution with our comments and observations. Touch or click on the highlighted text to see each of our comments, then on the red "X" to close it.

Resolution 2018

Authorization to End Contract to Provide Services in Point Roberts

Whereas, Unity Care Northwest contracts with the Point Roberts Hospital District to operate a primary care medical clinic; and

Whereas, the patient population served in the Point Roberts Clinic is different from UCNW’s Ferndale and Bellingham clinics, being of higher income and more likely to be commercially insured or on Medicare; and

Whereas, unlike Unity Care’s Bellingham and Ferndale facilities, the Point Roberts Clinic is not pursuing Meaningful Use or recognition as a Patient Centered Medical Home, which are important for future reimbursement; and

Whereas, the number of people being served at the Point Roberts clinic declined from 543 in the first quarter of 2017 to 489 in the same period of 2018, which is 2.4% of the 20,800 unduplicated patients served by Unity Care NW; and

Whereas, the number of visits being provided at the Point Roberts Clinic are well below average provider productivity and have been gradually declining from 1176 in 2015 to 1033 in 2017 and represented only 1.2% of Unity Care NW’s total visits in 2017; and

Whereas, the administrative time and energy required to maintain this remote clinic is proportionally far greater for the people served and visits provided; and

Whereas, Unity Care has started construction of a major new facility in Ferndale which requires its administrative resources and upon completion will be able to accommodate those currently served in Point Roberts if they so choose; and

Whereas, there has been increasing community turmoil regarding the performance of the Hospital District and the services contracted through Unity Care NW; and

Whereas, the Point Robert’s Hospital District, in pursuit of the public interest, has sought alternative contractors in prior years through a public Request for Proposals; and

Whereas, Unity Care's contract to provide services requires that we notify the Point Roberts Hospital District by June 30th of each year if we intend to discontinue services on December 31st of each year; now, therefore be it

Resolved that the Board of Directors of Unity Care NW:

1. directs its Executive Director to notify the Point Roberts Hospital District (PRHD) of the Board’s decision to end its contract to provide services effective December 31, 2018; and

2. further directs its Executive Director to provide services on a month by month basis starting in January 2019 if requested by PRHD and if a new service provider is not yet in place, providing Unity Care can appropriately staff the clinic and any deficit that is incurred by Unity Care NW is made whole by the Point Robert’s Hospital District for a period not to extend past June 30th 2019; and

3. further directs its Executive to assist with transitioning health services to an alternative provider provided that PRPHD desires assistance and is consistent with available Unity Care resources.

Motion passed by majority vote of the Board of Directors on June 25th, 2018.


Melvin D. De Jong, Board President

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