Medicaid providers at the end of the line for federal COVID funding

Casa de Salud, a nonprofit clinic in Albuquerque, New Mexico, provides primary medical care, opioid addiction services and non-Western therapies, including acupuncture and reiki, to a largely low-income population. And, like so many other health care providers that serve as a safety net, its revenue — and its future — are threatened by the COVID-19 epidemic. “I’ve been working for the past six weeks to figure out how to keep the doors open,” said the clinic’s executive director, Dr. Anjali Taneja. “We’ve seen probably an 80 percent drop in patient care, which has completely impacted our bottom line.”

In March, Congress authorized $100 billion for health care providers, both to compensate them for the extra costs associated with caring for patients with COVID-19 and for the revenue that’s not coming in from regular care. They have been required to stop providing most nonemergency services, and many patients are afraid to visit health care facilities.

The Casa de Salud power struggle

This op-ed is signed by MARIA BRAZIL, CARLETTA BULLOCK and AMALIA MONTOYA and is in response to reporter Andy Lyman’s story, “Doctor fired, clinic out $30k amid power struggle,” which appeared on this site on June 3, 2015. We appreciate reporter Andy Lyman’s framing of the current situation at Casa de Salud as a power struggle. It reminds us of the famous adage: power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. We encourage those at Casa who are shedding light on the mechanisms operating there that concentrated decision making into the hands of a powerful few. As we understand it, these mechanisms include giving more than 51% voting weight to just two people on the clinic governing team, one of whom is Dr. Ziwasimon­Zeller and having no true voting board of directors member seats for community representation.

Doctor fired, clinic out $30k amid power struggle

© New Mexico Political Report, 2015. Contact editor@nmpoliticalreport.com for info on republishing. On the corner of a busy intersection in Albuquerque’s South Valley sits Casa de Salud, a building partially hidden from the street’s view that, for many, is a source of affordable medical care. The health care clinic offers a number of medical services for roughly $40 a visit. But a shakeup between the clinic and its governing board resulted in the ouster of a senior physician.