Manassas Journal Messenger | Supervisors to look into indigent care

Mothers-to-be have a 10-week wait time if they want to see a doctor and don’t have insurance in the Prince William area.

Prince William Health District’s free and low-cost clinics are overextended, and drop-in deliveries are increasing, according to the Prince William Health District.

It’s become a crisis situation, according to public health officials.

Hospitals in the county saw more than $40 million in bills go unpaid last year, according to the health district, and every day the demands on free and low-cost services are growing.

That’s why the health district is seeking federal approval to create a “federally qualified health center,” said Dr. Alison Ansher, acting health director for the Prince William Health District.

Even though there are numerous services for people without insurance, these services can’t cover everyone, she said.

In applying for a health center grant, Ansher said areas in Prince William must qualify as “medically underserved.”

Many areas are underserved but to meet federal thresholds, Ansher said, the health district is seeking a waiver because people seeking services are geographically spread out.

“We hope that multiple sites are designated medically underserved, which would help our chances of getting the grant,” said Corey Riley, a Centers for Disease Control prevention specialist working with the health district.

Operating costs for a health center require $600,000 through a federal grant, $600,000 in revenues and $600,000 through local and donated money.

A health center would serve anyone who has insurance or who does not, said Ansher.

If the health district obtains the grant, the new health center could be open by this time next year, Riley said.

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