KCUR News
3:05 pm
Sat December 17, 2005

Samuel Rodgers Health Center

Kansas City, MO – On Wednesday, the President and CEO of Truman Medical Center John Bluford said the hospital cannot continue to absorb most of the indigent patients in the metropolitan area.

Earlier this year, Bluford said that undocumented immigrants would not be considered Kansas City residents. Truman currently absorbs about 20 million dollars of uncompensated care and some of that burden needs to be shared by private institutions. But with Missouri's cuts in Medicaid funding, and a rising immigrant population, more and more people are unable to pay for health services.

For many years, people could turn city's community health clinics, like Samuel Rodgers Health Center. Samuel Rodgers was founded 38 years ago to provide quality health care regardless of people's ability to pay. But when CEO Hilda Fuentes took over in October, the clinic's account closed with only $3 and it owed about a million dollars to vendors. With increased demand and less compensation, Fuentes told me that Samuel Rodgers will need more private funding to continue with its mission.