Battle Continues Over Proposed Cuts to Medi-Cal Payment Rates
Several California health care groups and Medi-Cal beneficiaries plan to file a lawsuit against the state over proposed pay cuts to health care providers who participate in Medi-Cal that were included in the state budget that was approved in September, the Los Angeles Daily Journal reports.
Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
Earlier this year, pharmacies challenged a 10% cut to Medi-Cal provider reimbursement rates.Â The case is continuing to work its way through federal court.
The Medi-Cal cuts approved with the state budget in September would reduce payments to pharmacies and adult care centers by 5%.Â Medi-Cal payments to doctors, dentists and some other providers will be cut by 1%.
The smaller cuts are slated to take effect March 1, 2009, and are projected to reduce state Medi-Cal spending by $200 million less than the 10% cuts, according to a spokesperson for the California Department of Health Care Services, which oversees Medi-Cal.
Plaintiffs in the new suit include pharmacies, three disabled Medi-Cal beneficiaries, an adult living center and a senior rights group.Â They argue that the state did not study how the cuts would affect beneficiaries' access to care, a step they maintain is required under federal law.State attorneys said federal Medicaid law does not require the state to perform a formal study before reducing Medi-Cal reimbursement rates (George, Los Angeles Daily Journal, 11/26). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.