Budget Impasse Sends Hospitals, Clinics Into Scramble Mode
July ended and August began without a state budget, prompting hospitals and clinics statewide to figure out how to maintain operations while Medi-Cal payments are frozen. California hospitals got their final Medi-Cal reimbursement checks last week.
For many providers, especially rural clinics, the weekly check from Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program, is a primary source of income. When the fiscal year began July 1 without a state budget, state officials turned to an emergency fund of $2 billion -- $1 billion in state funds and $1 billion in matching federal money.
The emergency money is depleted now, and hospitals and clinics are looking to other funding sources until a budget is passed. The California Health Facilities Financing Authority was poised to use half of its administrative fund, $4.2 million, to make unprecedented short-term loans to rural hospitals and clinics.
Medi-Cal providers got more bad news this week when a state court refused to block the Medi-Cal rate cut. A coalition of Medi-Cal providers said the court recognized that the rate could reduce access to health care but said that it lacked authority to block the cut.
With budget talks dragging on, here's a look at other health care bills before the governor and under consideration in the Legislature.