CONTACT: TOM MOORE
Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications
8788 John Pappajohn Pavilion
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: May 2, 2001
UICMS to close UI Family Care clinic in Ottumwa
University of Iowa Community Medical Services Inc. (UICMS)
today announced plans to close a primary care clinic in Ottumwa, effective
UI Family Care, Ottumwa, which opened in August 1999,
has employed two physicians and five support staff, and has been a part of
the UI Family Care network of clinics located throughout eastern and central
"While we are pleased to have offered residents of
the Ottumwa area a primary care option, unfortunately the market does not
justify our continued operation of this clinic," said Terry Protextor,
executive director of UICMS.
The decision to close the clinic was made by the UICMS
board of directors.
Protextor said the nations economic slowdown, and
a turbulent health care marketplace in particular, are creating problems for
operators of primary care networks both in Iowa and across the United States.
"Were certainly not alone in having to make
difficult decisions about our operations," Protextor said. Most health
care providers are stressed by the current general economic climate and the
fact that reimbursement payments are not keeping pace with the growing cost
of providing services, he said.
"For us, its about maintaining a careful balancing
act, trying to respond to perceived community needs for primary care services
versus their potential profitability," Protextor said.
"In this case, the financial projections for the Ottumwa market from
a few years ago, including projected patient volumes, simply havent
materialized. Furthermore, the managed care environment that everyone thought
was imminent hasnt developed."
Protextor said the organization is always evaluating the
viability of UI Family Care clinics against the universitys mission
of service to the people of Iowa.
"We dont open a new clinic without surveying
the perceived needs of the community regarding primary care services, and
we dont close one without a thorough review of operations and community
support," he said. "We consider the opportunity
from both a financial standpoint and how well our patient care and educational
missions will be served."
Protextor said UICMS is proud of the quality of health
care services it delivers to patients through its UI Family Care clinics and
will continue to manage all clinics in a responsible manner.
He said patients of the UI Family Care, Ottumwa clinic
received letters informing them of the clinics closing, and that UICMS
is committed to helping them make a smooth transition to alternative primary
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership
between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the
patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.
Visit UI Health Care online at www.uihealthcare.com.