Delays to State Budget, Medi-Cal Payments Hit Homes for Disabled
Operators of homes for Californians with developmental disabilities say they could close this summer if Medi-Cal payments are delayed because state lawmakers do not pass a budget for fiscal year 2008-2009 by August, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
Many operators of homes for the developmentally disabled are in substantial debt because of previous budget and Medi-Cal payment delays, according to Darryl Nixon, public policy director of the California Association of Health Facilities.
Payments to the 4,700 health care providers who participate in Medi-Cal will come from a $2 billion emergency fund while budget negotiations continue. However, the Press-Enterprise reports that the fund is expected to run out by July 17.
Anthony Cava, spokesperson for the Department of Health Care Services, said that after July 17, Medi-Cal providers will not receive payments until a budget is approved.
In addition, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) approved a bill to delay August Medi-Cal payments for some health care providers to September to save money, Cava said. He added that DHCS officials could scrap the plan to delay payments if lawmakers do not pass a budget this month (Hines, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 7/5).