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In other health news from around the state, startup insurer Oscar reports first-half losses of $57.6 million from California, Texas and New York. And Sacramento County orders a makeshift youth shelter to close.
For the first time in 17 years, doctors are getting a pay increase for taking Medi-Cal patients, but not everyone who refused to accept them before did so because of the low reimbursement rates.
UC Davis stopped accepting Medi-Cal coverage more than two years ago, saying the federally funded health program for low-income people didn’t adequately reimburse the hospital for its services.
The state cut its Medicaid reimbursements to hospitals by 10 percent for services that didn’t require an overnight stay and eventually got approval from the Obama administration. The federal appeals court said the government can adopt such measures only if it shows that access to care is not affected.
State data show that the most expensive 1 percent of patients in Medi-Cal account for 23 percent of the program’s spending. Ten percent of patients create 63 percent of total costs.
The Republicans left the Medicaid cuts in place, which will deeply affect the one-in-three Californians who get care through the program.
Civil rights advocates file suit against California, alleging that care provided by Medi-Cal is substandard and disproportionately hurts Latinos — by far the largest group of enrollees.
“Without the health insurance, kids aren’t going to get the immunizations and the checkups. There are going to be more lost days of school. More trips to the emergency room,” said Dr. Traci Acklin, who grew up in Fayette County, West Virginia. “It would be food or healthcare for a lot of these families.”
California would be left with a nearly $115 billion shortfall for the program.
Opinion writers weigh in on the newly released plan from Senate Republicans to replace the Affordable Care Act.