Mascoma clinic gets $110,000 in CARES Act money

Staff Report
Published: 10/19/2020 5:31:58 PM
Modified: 10/19/2020 11:25:54 PM

CANAAN — A New Hampshire legislative panel on Friday unanimously approved giving $110,000 in federal CARES Act money to the Mascoma Community Health Center to help offset its losses through the end of the year.

The nonprofit health center, which sits on Roberts Road near Route 4 and first opened in 2017, has seen a reduction both in patient visits and in donations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has received some COVID relief funds from state, federal and philanthropic sources, but not enough.

The health center’s leaders had sought an additional $220,000 from the state through the Legislative Advisory Board for the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery to get through September 2021.

In addition to approving the funds, the Concord-based panel, which met by phone on Friday, also directed the leaders of the health center to work with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services to address the deficit that is anticipated to continue at a rate of approximately $20,000 per month in 2021.

The deficit is expected to continue until a vaccine for COVID-19 becomes widely available and the health center employees can reduce the time they spend disinfecting and increase the time spent seeing patients.

“We’re very appreciative of the help in order to weather the situation,” said Mike Samson, the center’s volunteer finance director, who also is Canaan’s town administrator.

The center, which has an annual operating budget of $1.6 million, also is seeking to collaborate with a federally qualified health center in order to qualify for higher reimbursement rates from Medicare and Medicaid.

Such a marriage is “probably a good avenue to be looking to for a long-term solution,” said state Sen. Chuck Morse, R-Salem, in an audio recording of Friday’s meeting of the legislative advisory board.

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