The Associate Dean in the Carver College of Medicine, says letters are arriving at the homes of more than two-thousand patients and former patients of the University of Iowa Family Planning Clinic, telling them no appointments will be scheduled after October 30. Maravetz says there were 2 reasons the University decided to close the clinic. Declining revenues, which weren’t keeping up with expenses, and the other reason was that after calling around Johnson County to check on service providers, operators learned there are plenty of family-planning providers now in the area so no patients will be left without those healthcare services. Maravetz says when the clinic opened years ago, the regional healthcare market was different. The clinic opened in 1972 when there was “definitely an un-served niche in the marketplace for family-planning services,” but since then he says student health services have started offering family planning, and other clinics and doctors have also started offering the services in the area. The clinic was not a part of the school or teaching hospital, so Maravetz says its closing won’t deprive students of learning experience. It won’t save the university money, as the clinic made enough revenue to support itself. In the last year the clinic saw about 23-hundred patients, many of whom will need to find another OB-GYN. They shouldn’t have much difficulty, though, as Maravetz says the market for healthcare is much different today than it was when the clinic opened. There’s one physician overseeing the clinic, who’s also on the medical school faculty and will continue that teaching job. The school will try to help the clinic’s other staff, a nurse and physician assistant, find other jobs in the area.
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