Medi-Cal Pay Crunch Destabilizes Homes for People With Disabilities
Owners of homes for people with disabilities are voicing concerns that the ongoing deadlock over California's budget could raise questions about the facilities' ability to survive without Medi-Cal funds, the Contra Costa Times reports. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
Medi-Cal is the primary source of funding for most homes for people with disabilities, and many facilities do not have other sources of revenue to rely upon if the state does not make payments to Medi-Cal providers.
Moreover, tightening credit markets have made it difficult for some home operators to get loans while Medi-Cal payments are on hold, according to Steve Zolno, co-owner of a string of homes for the disabled in the Bay Area.
The state has a $1 billion reserve fund to make Medi-Cal reimbursement payments when the budget is not finalized, and the federal government provides an additional $1 billion in reserves.
Toby Douglas -- deputy director of health care programs for the Department of Health Care Services, which administers Medi-Cal -- estimates that the reserve fund will be exhausted around July 24, about the same time it was exhausted during last year's budget talks.
A measure to increase the reserve funds has stalled in the Legislature (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 7/11).