Hospital Group Leader Expects More Hospitals To Drop Out of Medi-Cal
Three California hospitals have ended their contracts with the state's Medicaid program this month, a trend that Jim Lott, executive vice president of the Hospital Association of Southern California, expects to continue, the Ventura County Star reports.
Simi Valley Hospital canceled its Medi-Cal contract on Friday, saying that reimbursements were inadequate to cover the cost of services. San Joaquin Community Hospital in Kern County and Sutter Roseville Medical Center also have ended their contracts to provide inpatient services to Medi-Cal beneficiaries in recent weeks.
Without Medi-Cal contracts, the facilities will provide emergency services to Medi-Cal beneficiaries but transfer the patients to other hospitals for surgeries or further treatment. Medi-Cal will pay the hospitals on a fee-for-service basis at a higher rate than the facilities would have received under their contracts.
Lott said that he expects more hospitals to opt out of contracts with Medi-Cal, saying, "I have this telephone conversation every day with a hospital saying they can't take it any longer."
Anthony Cava, a spokesperson for the Department of Health Care Services, recognized that low reimbursement rates can make it difficult for hospitals to participate in Medi-Cal and said that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) health care reform proposal would address the issue by increasing Medi-Cal payments to health care providers (Kisken, Ventura County Star, 12/12).