CHA closes Inman Square family health clinic, location bought from a trio of its own doctors
Cambridge Health Alliance has permanently shuttered an Inman Square clinic that had been temporarily closed since last fall. Patients who used the clinic at 237 Hampshire St. were told they can see doctors at a sister office in North Cambridge or transfer to another CHA location closer to the Inman Square site.
A letter to patients said CHA closed the Cambridge Family Health clinic because of “building issues” and staffing challenges. Asked for details of the “building issues,” spokesperson David Cecere said the replacement location, Cambridge Family Health North near Porter Square, “offers a better layout that is more conducive to patient care.”
The Alliance will convert the Inman Square building to “administrative office use.” Cecere said.
CHA actually owns two of three condominiums in the building, about half the space. The Alliance bought them in 2012 from one of its own primary care doctors, James A. Nolan, and two other doctors formerly connected with the Alliance, Hilary G. Worthen and Steven T. Lacy. The health care system paid $850,000 and the sellers loaned $680,000 to the Alliance to help finance the purchase.
Worthen and Lacy no longer have an association with CHA but Nolan remains a primary care doctor there; he practices at Cambridge Family Health North and also worked at the Inman Square clinic when it served patients.
According to a CHA financial report from 2012, the loan carried an interest rate of 4.5 percent and called for monthly payments of $7,047 for 10 years. Under those terms it would have been paid off in May this year.
Cecere said CHA “consulted with outside parties and completed the purchase at fair market value” to avoid any conflict of interest. He didn’t answer a question about possible conflicts in having the Alliance indebted to a staff member. Cecere said “the details of the property transaction had no bearing on the decision to close the practice location.”