Clinic opens in Dundee to serve children on Medicaid
By Marilyn Meyer
DUNDEE — Health care will again be accessible for about 700 young Medicaid patients with the opening of Dundee Pediatrics.
When a physician who accepted the low-level reimbursement paid by Medicaid left the community this winter, parents were left scrambling to find a new doctor for their children, said Ann Claussen, executive director of the nonprofit Central Florida Health Care, a federally funded community health clinic.
“We are one of the very, very few in the area who provide outpatient primary care to Medicaid pediatric patients,” said Dr. J. Michael Ham-Ying, chief clinical officer for Central Florida Health Care.
Medicaid, a federal-state funded program for low-income individuals and families, provides extremely low reimbursement rates, meaning private practice physicians have difficulty recovering their costs so typically accept few if any Medicaid patients.
Because Central Florida Health Care is federally funded and meets an array of criteria, its reimbursement rate is higher than what private providers receive for seeing Medicaid patients, Claussen said. With that and boosts from grants, local sales tax money and other sources, the clinic comes close to covering the actual costs for providing care.
“We saw a need and were able to fill it,” Claussen said of opening the clinic.
The new Dundee Pediatrics clinic is at 1023 Dundee Road. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
It is staffed by pediatrician Maria Anchundia, two licensed practical nurses, a medical assistant and a front desk worker.
Opening the pediatrics clinic also resolves a crowding problem Central Florida Health Care has been facing for some time at its existing clinic in Dundee, 916 State Road 542.
“We were at capacity to see adults and pediatrics,” Claussen said. “At one point we were looking to move into a building in the heart of Dundee but it would have taken too much renovation work. Then we found this small building that had been built as a medical clinic and abandoned. We got with the real estate agent and worked out a deal.
“We went in and painted and renovated. It is adorable,” Claussen said.
Pediatric patients who previously were being seen at the clinic on SR 542 will now be seen at the pediatric clinic on Dundee Road, and there will be more space to concentrate on adult services at the other clinic, she said.
— Marilyn Meyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 863-802-7558. Follow on Twitter @marilyn_ledger.