Auburn, Calif. – For more than 30 years, Placer County has provided medical services to low income, rural residents. On Nov. 10, the Auburn medical clinic will close its doors, transferring patients to a new, non-profit provider.
Western Sierra Medical Clinic will now provide medical and dental services in place of the county’s clinic. At this time dental services are only provided in North Lake Tahoe. In July, the county’s board of supervisors approved the closing of county facilities and transitioning of patients to Western Sierra’s health centers. The transition for services in Auburn is effective Nov. 10. The transition date in Tahoe is still to be determined.
Western Sierra is up and running with a new health center location in Auburn and has plans to open a second Auburn health center in December. The county is working with Western Sierra on transitioning the operations of the Tahoe medical and dental clinics, which will remain in their current site.
“We were looking for a way to provide the same or an even better level of service in a more cost effective manner,” said Health and Human Services Director Jeffrey Brown. “Many California counties have moved to a community health center model, which offers potential advantages such as lower expenses, enhanced reimbursement rates and greater flexibility and nimbleness to grow and expand services.”
Placer County’s clinics had been funded in part by Medi-Cal, a federal program administered by the state. However, reimbursement levels have not kept up with the growing costs per patient, requiring increasing amounts of county funding
Western Sierra was established in 1974 to serve Sierra County and has since expanded to remote regions of Nevada and Yuba counties, including services for the homeless at Hospitality House in Grass Valley. Western Sierra is also offering pediatric services. Its plans to add services for Placer County residents, include assistance for the elderly, specialty OB-GYN care, integrated behavioral health, substance use disorder treatment and pain management. They are also working with health plans and local specialists to provide ophthalmology, orthopedics, podiatry, gastroenterology and chiropractic services in the future.
The new Auburn clinic is at 12183 Locksley Lane, Suite 106. The main phone number is 530-274-9762. The new patient coordinator can be reached at 530-273-5469. The medical and dental clinics in Tahoe will remain in the same location, 8665 Salmon Ave in Kings Beach. Their telephone number is 530-546-1970.