PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Officials at Portland's only federally qualified health center are worried about the impact on the neediest patients if proposed cuts to MaineCare go through.
The Portland Community Health Center on Park Avenue provides primary care services to nearly three-thousand people each year. Right now half of those patients have MaineCare, a small percentage have Medicare and private insurance but nearly forty percent are uninsured and are allowed to pay on a sliding fee scale. Officials say cutting 27-thousand people from the MaineCare the number of patients without insurance will go up.
'What that could translate to if somebody can't get in the day they need, because we don't have the capacity. They end up in the emergency room again. So it shifts the costs,' said Leslie Clark Brancato the CEO of the Portland Community Health Center.
Those cuts are the subject of a lawsuit in federal court. Depending on federal officials and the judge the case, they cuts could happened October 1st, or they could be delayed or denied altogether.