Funds Will Keep Youth-Focused Reproductive Health Center Open Through June 2017
UC San Francisco (UCSF) and the San Francisco Department of Public Health (DPH) have committed to continue supporting New Generation Health Center for an additional year, enabling the center to provide reproductive health care in the community through June 2017.
All current patients will be able to continue receiving services at the center, which has been dedicated to confidential reproductive health for teens and young adults in San Francisco since 1997. In health care’s changing landscape, the center has seen a 27 percent drop in patient enrollment over the past six years. It also has seen a dramatic drop in philanthropy, which has focused on addressing the high incidence of teen pregnancy, as the teen birth rate has plummeted in San Francisco during that time. The two factors have led to a net loss of $400,000 per year for the center.
Since March, when the center announced it would close, UCSF and its staff at New Generation have seen an outpouring of community support for the specific services and personalized care the center provides. As a result of this support, as well as community concern over an imminent closure, the university, in consultation with the Health Department, has identified funds from a variety of programs that will enable the center to remain open long enough to develop a solid transition plan and explore the possibility for continued operations.
“This clinic has served a critical need in our community, especially for teens from low- and moderate-income families, and we are committed to ensuring that these young people continue to be served,” said UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS. “Over the next year, we will partner with DPH and the community to look at philanthropy and other approaches to best secure these services for youth in San Francisco.”
New Generation’s financial challenges come at a time when full-service clinics – rather than specialty reproductive services – are being strengthened through coverage under the Affordable Care Act. A significant number of these clinics have emerged throughout San Francisco, including several in close proximity to New Generation. In the long-term, Hawgood said, the goal is to have a sustainable network of health clinics and services, each of which has enough patients to remain healthy for decades to come.
“We will work with UCSF and community members over the next year to ensure that essential reproductive health services for teens continue to be provided to the patients currently served by the New Generation clinic,” said Barbara Garcia, MPA, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. “I look forward to developing a collaborative plan for the future.”
UCSF and the Health Department will form working groups that include community members to determine next steps for the clinic’s services, including the financial and facilities status of the current site, and available resources and services throughout the San Francisco health system and philanthropic community.
New Generation, which is run by UCSF physicians in the Division of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Health at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (ZSFG), was founded on a model that was dependent upon both philanthropy and a California state program known as Family PACT that was founded in 1996 to fund low-income reproductive health care. Under the Affordable Care Act, many of the patients previously served under Family PACT are now eligible for Medi-Cal or other insurance, which cover care beyond reproductive health. However, these reimbursements are much lower than Family PACT, which has resulted in an unsustainable decrease in revenues.
“The UCSF faculty who work at ZSFG have dedicated their careers to serving all San Franciscans, including the teens who have found a safe space at New Gen,” said Sue Carlisle, MD, PhD, who is vice dean of the UCSF School of Medicine at ZSFG. “It was a heart-wrenching decision to consider closing New Gen and not something we took lightly. We are committed to making sure we develop a solid plan for either a transition or further operations for this center, which is so beloved by both the patients and the providers.”
The one-year funding will be supported through UCSF funds from the Division of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Health at ZSFG, as well as contributions from departments and leadership across UCSF. As a state university, UCSF depends primarily upon grants and reimbursements that are restricted for specific purposes, such as research funding from the National Institutes for Health, making it difficult to allocate funds for additional external programs. As a result, its clinics are self-supported and rely heavily upon patient reimbursements from insurance, Medicare/Medi-Cal and private payments. Its new campus at Mission Bay and other capital projects rely heavily on philanthropic gifts that are restricted for specific programs and facilities.
UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population sciences; and a preeminent biomedical research enterprise. It also includes UCSF Health, which comprises two top-ranked hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, and other partner and affiliated hospitals and healthcare providers throughout the Bay Area.