Community Memorial Hospital Officials ‘Open’ to Plan to Extend County HMO
Community Memorial Hospital officials are "open" to a plan by Ventura County Supervisors to extend the county's managed health care program to uninsured workers whose employers do not provide coverage, the Los Angeles Times reports. CMH Executive Director Michael Bakst, initially "silent" about the idea, has said that he is "hopeful there is a window of opportunity here to come up with a collaborative plan." However, CMH officials added that the supervisors' plan would need to include visits to private doctors and hospitals in addition to county-run health facilities. "There needs to be some public-private partnership for people who are underinsured," CMH spokesperson Mark Barnhill said (Talev, Los Angeles Times, 12/6). Under the plan, the county would insure workers who do not receive health insurance through their employer and who earn too much to qualify for state or federal insurance programs but cannot afford private insurance (California Healthline, 12/5). Officials representing private doctors, hospitals and insurers predicted that the supervisors' plan would be met with a "backlash" if it was viewed as cutting into the private sector. Supervisors expected resistance from CMH in particular because of the "contentious" relationship between CMH and neighboring Ventura County Medical Center, which CMH has repeatedly "accused" of "trying to cut into its businesses" (Los Angeles Times, 12/6).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.