MUSCATINE — The Genesis Health Group clinic in Muscatine is slated to close this summer, according to system spokesman Craig Cooper.

Cooper said the Genesis Health Group, Muscatine Family Practice and Women's Health clinic location, at 2104 Cedarwood Drive, will close, effective July 31. He said the closure is part of recent cost-reduction measures across the entire system.

Cooper said he does not have an exact count of patients served by the Muscatine clinic. In a letter to patients, Executive Medical Officer Kurt Andersen said patients will be transitioned to other Genesis Health Group clinics.

"We're trying to transition patients and their care," Cooper said in an interview Monday. "They can get care. We have a clinic in Durant, another in Blue Grass and we'll soon have another HealthPlex in Davenport. So finding care is really not the problem, they just won't be in Muscatine necessarily."

The closure announcement comes days after Genesis Health System announced it would eliminate 48 positions system-wide, including 12 executive and management positions.

"Genesis, along with the majority of health care organizations across the country, must address the challenges of shrinking reimbursement and escalating costs that are causing extreme financial pressures on the provider side of health care," Andersen said in the letter. 

"The decision to close the clinic in no way diminishes the pride we have in the Genesis providers and staff working in Muscatine and their commitment to provide compassionate, quality care to their patients," he said.

While Genesis ensures patients will be placed with other clinics, Laura Vargas, with Senior Resources in Muscatine, said the announcement worries her. She said several of the organization’s clients could be inconvenienced if they are required to travel outside of Muscatine for health care.

“The main thing I see seniors have a problem with is transportation,” Vargas said. “Transportation is big. Some don’t drive anymore, don’t have cars or rely on others. Some of the seniors I’m sure would like to stay local and not have to travel just to see a doctor for a routine check-up.”

In addition to Genesis, Muscatine patients are also served by Mercy Family Medicine, the University of Iowa health care clinic, plus UnityPoint Health and Trinity Muscatine.

“Currently, 12 UnityPoint Clinic providers are accepting new patients in the Muscatine community,” Interim Regional Marketing Director Brian Boesen said in an email. “These providers are focused on providing care that’s more personal in the specialties of family medicine, internal medicine, express care, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, surgery and others.”

Andersen said Genesis patients will continue to be served by Muscatine Family Practice and Women's Health unless they choose to transfer medical records before the clinic closes in July.

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