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RoxComp suspends clinical operations indefinitely

Howard Manly | 2/21/2013, 11:39 a.m.

In the middle of ongoing federal and state investigations over a range of issues, including financial mismanagement, the Roxbury Comprehensive Community Health Center (RoxComp) temporarily suspended its clinical operations this week.

Citing a need “to ensure patient health and safety” while the agency confronts “challenging funding issues,” Dr. Keith Crawford, chairman of RoxComp’s board of directors, said the center’s patients would receive care at several other nearby community health centers until RoxComp resolves its operational problems.

“This is a difficult step to take, but one we believe is necessary to preserve the core mission of RoxComp for the long term,” Dr. Crawford said in a prepared statement. “I feel particularly strongly as a doctor that the best course is to suspend clinical operations for what I believe will be a brief period in order to ensure patient health and safety and ensure that there is no degradation of patient care while we address challenging funding issues.”

The suspension of services comes at a time when the center was unable to meet payroll earlier this month. Just last summer, RoxComp was embroiled in controversy prompted by a series of letters by employees describing a woeful state of operation at the center. Those letters placed the blame on the center’s CEO, Anita Crawford. The problems included mislabeled lab samples, use of expired medical supplies and failures to comply with various Medicaid and Medicare regulations.

In his statement, board chairman Crawford (no relation) said that the center would be working with the state Department of Public Health and the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to secure a “revenue stream of federal and other funding” in order to meet payroll and “follow the highest standards of clinical operations and record keeping.”