Fresno County Tries To Keep Medi-Cal Funding Increase
The Fresno County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday voted to move forward on two separate proposals that would allow Community Medical Centers to keep a payment from the county that let the hospital qualify for additional Medi-Cal funds, the Fresno Bee reports (St. John, Fresno Bee, 5/31). Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
The county last year distributed to Community a lump-sum payment of $18 million to help the hospital balance its budget and leverage additional federal matching funds from Medi-Cal. In past years, the county distributed the funding in monthly installments to pay for care of indigents and county jail inmates.
The state Department of Health Services signed off on the deal, but in January a CMS official said the redistribution of the funds improperly linked Medicaid with care of indigents and inmates (California Healthline, 5/30).
The supervisors voted to hire outside attorneys to help amend a proposal from federal health officials so that it would allow the hospital to maintain the funding.
Judy Case, a county supervisor, said the federal proposal asks the county to state that it has no written contract with the hospital to provide care for inmates. However, the county has a 30-year contract with Community to provide such services, according to Case.
Dennis Marshall, the county's attorney, said the proposal is illegal because of the contract.
Supervisors also voted to send CMS and state officials a separate proposal that asks the Department of Health Services to seek a waiver of the federal objections. Marshall authored the proposal.
Susan Anderson, a county supervisor, said the board plans next week to consider the amended federal proposal (Fresno Bee, 5/31).