Russell Vows To Fight For Children's Clinic Funding
North country Assemblywoman Addie Russell says she will do all she can to get the North Country Children's Clinic back open.
Clinic officials announced Tuesday that financial problems are forcing the facility to close Friday.
"I'm going to be running down every type of funding I can to keep the clinic back open and serving the community," she said.
Russell was interviewed live by phone on 7 News This Morning. Click on the picture for the full interview.
She says one of the problems is the way the state makes Medicaid reimbursements.
Calling it one of the Health Department's "dirty little secrets," she says that while it will reimburse clinics for Medicaid services they perform, sometimes officials ask for some of the money back a couple years later.
"It really throws financial planning out the door," she says.
Clinic officials say the closing is temporary, but could be six months or more.
"I'm going to be working as hard as I can to get it open before that six-month time period," Russell said.
"I've been working with the Children's Clinic for several weeks," she said. "They needed some assistance getting payments from the state, so I share their frustration in trying to ensure they're getting paid for the services that they provide."
Russell said that while she didn't think the state was solely to blame for the clinic's woes, "it is frustrating that members of the Legislature have to constantly call and ask why payments haven't gone out the door."
"That's unacceptable to me, but I continue to push forward to get this clinic back open."
See more reaction to the clinic's announcement.
Friday, March 6, 2015, Watertown, NY
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