Counties Face Issues as They Work To Roll Out Bridge to Reform
County officials across the state are working to implement California's Bridge to Reform program that is designed to expand health care coverage for low-income adults, HealthyCal reports.
According to the California Department of Health Care Services, about 500,000 low-income residents could be eligible for coverage through the program (Moran, HealthyCal, 9/22).
The Bridge to Reform Medi-Cal waiver is a joint federal-state effort that aims to help California prepare for wider implementation of the federal health reform law in 2014. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
The program provides matching federal funds to counties for health care spending for low-income, uninsured adults. Under the program, uninsured residents can be enrolled in a Low-Income Health Program (California Healthline, 9/7).
Individuals who participate in the program will be assigned a primary care physician, and the focus will be on preventive care.
Issues Counties Face
Counties that choose to participate will be eligible to share $10 billion in federal funding to bolster their programs.
However, some counties are concerned that treatment costs couldÂ exceed local and federal funds. Some officials have said they will have to limit the number of patients who are enrolled as a way to control costs.
Meanwhile, Ken Cohen, director of health care services for San Joaquin County Health Care Services, said that educating patients about the program will be critical.
He added that patients could need help keeping their appointments and knowing who to call if they have questions (HealthyCal, 9/22).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.