California Might Not Achieve Savings From Health Cuts
Many spending cuts passed by the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown (D) last month might not actually hit their targeted reduction amounts, according to a State Budget Watch analysis. For example, physicians might adjust Medi-Cal billing to account for verifying that recipients of in-home care do require those services. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program. Lawmakers also placed a "soft cap" on annual physician visits for Medi-Cal beneficiaries, but doctors can certify that a patient needs more than the number of permitted visits because of medical reasons. In addition, removing Medi-Cal coverage for over-the-counter medications could lead some patients to use more prescription medication, thereby increasing costs related to doctor and pharmacy visits.
- "Under Scrutiny, Big Cuts Are Not So Much" (Weintraub, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/5).