Judge Says Sacramento County Must Provide for Indigent Care Services
On Tuesday, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lloyd Connelly ruled that Sacramento County must process and pay medical claims for indigent residents who receive care from the UC-Davis Health System, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The ruling stems from a lawsuit that UC-Davis filed in November claiming that the county had failed to pay the health system as much as $125 million in reimbursements for indigent care services.
For 35 years, the county had paid the health system a lump sum to provide care to indigent county residents. In June 2008, county officials canceled the contract with the health system and brought in a third-party administrator to pay for the services, in an effort to lower costs.
In September 2009, Sacramento County informed indigent residents that it had severed its contract with the health system and would no longer pay for care at UC-Davis Medical Center.
In Tuesday's decision, Connelly ruled that the county has an obligation to provide indigent residents with emergency medical care services.
The ruling did not indicate how much the county owes UC-Davis.
Both parties now must reach an agreement on financial terms or the suit likely will return to court, the Bee reports.County officials said they are reviewing the judge's ruling (Lewis, Sacramento Bee, 7/14). 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.