L.A. Health Department Anticipates Funds From Provider Fee, Waiver
The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services is counting on a hospital provider fee and a federal Medi-Cal waiver extension to help close its $600 million deficit for this fiscal year and the previous fiscal year, the Los Angeles Times' "L.A. Now" reports. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
Last week, the Senate approved AB 1653, by Assembly member Dave Jones (D-Sacramento), which outlines details of a plan to impose a fee on private hospitals to draw down federal Medicaid funds. The Assembly passed the measure on Monday evening.
L.A. County's DHS expected to receive $144 million from the legislation to help cover last year's $200 million deficit, and $57.5 million for the first six months of this fiscal year.
According to state officials, lawmakers will need to propose separate legislation this fall to extend the fee in 2011.
Meanwhile, the county is awaiting funds from the extension of a federal Medicaid waiver. L.A. County previously received about $300 million annually from the waiver, and county officials had hoped to receive an additional $150 million for this fiscal year. The waiver is scheduled to expire on Tuesday.
On Friday, federal officials agreed to a 60-day waiver extension that would provide California with about $255 million. John Schunhoff, chief of the county DHS, said that L.A. County would receive about $25 million less than expected under the 60-day extension.
Gregory Franklin -- deputy director of health care operations at the state Department of Health Care Services -- said that state and federal officials are continuing to negotiate a five-year waiver deal that would provide California with about $10 billion.
Officials from both sides say they expect an agreement by Oct. 31, and state lawmakers will have until Nov. 15 to act on legislation related to implementing the waiver (Hennessy-Fiske, "L.A. Now," Los Angeles Times, 8/30).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.