In the December 8 Viriginia Weekly, the eligibility requirements for the dental clinic operated by the Fairfax County Health Department were incorrectly stated. In order to be eligible seniors must be receiving Medicaid, general relief, or Supplemental Security Income in addition to Social Security Insurance.
The Fairfax County Hospital Association has charged that a nearly completed plan for future health care services in Northern Virginia ignores the opinions of local physicians and miscalculates the amount of services the area will need within five years.
At the association's urging, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Monday agreed to request the local health planning group that developed the plan to delay adopting it until more information is studied.
The 800-page long-range plan, designed to guide the growth of health care facilities, was developed by the Health Systems Agency of Northern Virginia, a federally mandated organization reponsible for planning health care in Northern Virginia. Most local health care projects are reviewed by the agency, which then makes recommendations to the Virginia state health commissioner who ultimatedly decides what health facilities and services will be bought or built.
The hospital association, which operates three hospitals and an emergency center in Fairfax County, has long opposed aspects of the plan.
In a letter to Fairfax Board Chairman John F. Herrity, the association's executive director William C. Shreve said the proposed moratorium would not allow health care facilities "to adequately provide for an expanding population. The present population of Northern Virginia is already at the level predicted for 1982 in the plan."
In addition, Shreve said, "Input into the plan by Fairfax County physicians and other health professionals was not only minimal, but that what little was permitted was ignored."
Dean Montgomery, executive director of the Northern Virginia Health Systems Agency, said, "There is no evidence that supports the argument that the services called for in the plan are needed today. The fact is that state population estimates on which we based this plan are lower than what the county projects."
He said the plan has been developed for one and a half years. This year there were eight public hearings on different drafts of the plan, and 90 per cent of the testimony at those hearings was from physicians and other providers of health care services, Montgomery said.
He said he doubted the board of directors of the health systems agency would object to delaying adopting the plan as long as the agency can submit it to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare by March 3.
If the plan is not submitted by that date, Montgomery said, the agency could lose federal funding, which provides 90 per cent of the organization's support.