La Clinica Board of Directors answers community queries

GARDNER — The Board of Directors of La Clinica has received a number of queries regarding the state of the clinic. The accurate and up to date information below will hopefully clarify the status of the clinic and what needs to be accomplished to consider opening it again. The building at 24850 Hwy 69 may be opened to provide health care/medical services in Gardner. The Articles of Incorporation establish the primary activity as an out-patient medical clinic, as well as a facility for medical research. Anybody who wants to establish this type of business should submit a letter of intent, then a full proposal to the board outlining the following: a description of services, providers and qualifications/licenses; a budget that includes costs of occupancy (commercial water/sewer, electric, phone, propane, internet, security, maintenance, professional liability/malpractice insurance, salaries, etc.); and projected revenue and sources and duration. La Clinica is a Colorado nonprofit corporation in good standing. There are no voting shareholders or voting members. It is a federal tax-exempt corporation with the IRS. The Rural Health Clinic designation has expired, as well as all contracts with Medicare, Medicaid and insurances. The local tax exempt status expired in 2010 – per the application, page 2, “unused property cannot be granted an exemption.” All contracts with the Huerfano County Hospital District have expired. The non-profit’s only leasable asset is the 1600 s.f. building and minimal contents (medical and office furniture). Parking is limited and access to some of it is through private property. The adjacent adobe building is leased to Botanical Creations – terms are confidential. Current accounts payable are as follows. General liability insurance for 2014 is approx $1500, being paid in monthly installments. Property taxes – $1318 for 2011, $1586 for 2012, $1483 for 2013 – are all due/delinquent. Payment arrangements have been made for delinquent taxes with Debbie Reynolds, County Treasurer. In 2013 La Clinica received a total of $200 from Johnny Mullen, the Prettos, and the Remmerts which was earmarked for taxes and this has been paid on the accounts. Summer 2013 fundraising netted over $1000 toward maintenance, insurance, taxes. Approximately 75 people donated time and money to make the sale of Chris McFarlin’s household items a success. The building was re-roofed in 2013 with money from insurance, a generous materials discount from Metal Mart in Pueblo, and a volunteer crew from the community that included Leon Smith, Owen and Bertie Cookingham, Mia Peters, Bob Dowling, Bill Haynes, and wife Muriel. In September 2013 the building was inspected and an estimate provided for maintenance needed: materials for repairs $1520 – $2450, labor approximately $1000. The board received a note from the Gardner Roundup Committee on 1/16/2014 saying that our request for assistance with taxes, maintenance, and insurance had been tabled because we weren’t operating as a clinic. These repairs need to be completed before the building can be used. The medical services provided in past years at La Clinica were always heavily subsidized. The doctors were paid only partially from service revenue, the balance coming from the hospital district or from their own practices. The hospital district paid monthly stipends for operating expenses (insurance, utilities, equipment, salaries, etc.) for many years. Revenue generated from patient billing amounted to from 33% of the cost to 80% of the cost, and many bad debts were written off. Also, the clinic repaid over $7,000 for fraudulent Medicaid billing for massage therapies. The misconception of a “free” clinic diminished the value of all who were underpaid, who volunteered, or who actually donated tens of thousands of dollars to support the operation since its beginning in 1976. Currently the board is focused on raising money to pay property taxes, building maintenance, and general liability insurance. To donate, to submit a letter of intent, or to submit a Project Proposal – send information to Box 39, Gardner, Colorado 81040.