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Health center in Greensboro to close, 20,000 patients will be impacted

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Triad Adult and Pediatric Medicine, Inc. will close its adult practice on S. Eugene St. in Greensboro on Aug. 30, the company said Tuesday in a press release.

The closure of HealthServe Community Health Clinic at 1002 S. Eugene St. will impact an estimated 20,000 patients. According to the press release, the closure will not affect care for children who will continue to be served at TAPM’s pediatric practices, nor will it affect TAPM’s adult practice located in High Point.

“The ability to continue to provide care to more than 70% uninsured adult patient base at HealthServe is no longer financially feasible,” says Brian Ellerby, Chief Executive Officer of Triad Adult and Pediatric Medicine, Inc. “Patient notification of the closure will begin this week. A letter will be mailed to the last address on record to all patients who have been seen within the last three years.”

HealthServe depends on Guilford County and Cone Health for $1 million each, however, neither has the funding in their upcoming budgets.

North Carolina's decision not to expand Medicaid also impacts the clinic's decision to close.

"This is the beginning of the outflow of some decisions made by persons regarding trying to help those less fortunate," Ellerby told FOX8's Lindsey Eaton.

70% of HealthServe's patients are uninsured. Clinic officials are worried patients won't receive the medical attention they need or go to emergency rooms.

"I  don't know where to go from there? I don't know where I'm going to get my meds from?  If I don't have my meds, I won't be around for long," explained Melea Lail, a HealthServe patient.

In 2011, Guilford County eliminated $1.0 million in funding for uninsured adults. Cone Health continued as a supportive financial partner, however the funding from Cone Health was eliminated in March 2013.

In 2012, Cone Health provided $185 million in uncompensated care to the community, which is up from $125 million in 2009, an almost 50% increase. “

Cone Health will continue financial support of the pediatric practices of TAPM in Greensboro and will continue to serve any uninsured patients who seek care at its urgent care centers and emergency departments.

The closure will also impact staff at the HealthServe practice. Officials said they are meeting with each of the 26 employees that work at the S.Elm-Eugene location to discuss future options.

“We will discuss options available to these individuals including placement into other open and appropriate positions within the organization as well as unemployment benefits,” Ellerby said.