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Some LA Community Health Clinics Have Gotten Financial Relief, For Now

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A patient picks up a prescription at the QueensCare Health Center in East Los Angeles. (Leslie Berestein Rojas/LAist)
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Community health clinics provide care to some of the most vulnerable populations, among them low-wage workers and immigrants who are working essential jobs right now. One in six Californians depend on these clinics for their health care needs.

Last week, LAist reported that some clinics in L.A. have been facing financial struggles due to the coronavirus pandemic. The way the clinics make money is through their patient services, but since COVID-19 struck, their revenue has gone way down.

At the same time, their expenses went up as clinics had to cover things like buying more personal protective equipment for staff. Some clinics were contemplating staff cuts.

One clinic organization, QueensCare Health Centers, was seriously considering furloughs and layoffs. But this week, QueensCare just learned it has received a $3.5 million emergency loan through the federal Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program.

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“We're going to be able to keep our staff on board,” said Barbara Hines, CEO of QueensCare. “And we do have in place plans to pay hazard pay to our providers.”

But not all clinics are in the clear yet. Louise McCarthy, president of Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County, says some clinics aren’t eligible for PPP loans and have begun layoffs.

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