Health Groups File Suits Against State Over Medi-Cal Rate Freeze
On April 30, the California Association of Health Facilities and the Developmental Services Network filed separate lawsuits in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles in an effort to end the Department of Health Care Services' permanent Medi-Cal rate freeze, the Ventura County Star reports. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
In August 2009, the state froze Medi-Cal payments at the 2008-2009 levels.
According to DHCS spokesperson Norman Williams, the freeze was implemented as a budget control measure.
CAHF's lawsuit was filed on behalf of 528 members that provide services to 3,500 low-income California residents with mental or physical disabilities, and DSN's suit was filed on behalf of 250 members who provide services to about 1,200 low income residents (Ventura County Star, 5/6).
According to CAHF, if the Medi-Cal payment freeze had not gone into effect, reimbursements to facilities serving residents with mental and physical disabilities would have increased by 1.1% to 8.8% this year (Payers & Providers, 5/6).
CAHF President and CEO Jim Gomez said in a statement, "The rate freeze has resulted in tremendous financial hardship" for the health care providers and facilities thatÂ "are completely dependent on the Medi-Cal program for their funding and financial survival."
A hearing date has not yet been set (Ventura County Star, 5/6).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.