Nursing Home Payment Program Snagged in Roll Out
State officials are calling for clarifications about how a program to increase Medi-Cal reimbursements for skilled nursing homes in California was administered, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) in 2004 signed into law AB 1629 to increase Medi-Cal payments to nursing homes as part of an effort to improve care. The law also imposes a fee on nursing homes, allowing the state to receive more federal matching funds.
A state audit released last month documented:
- Startup delays;
- Confusion over calculating rates;
- Poor record-keeping;
- Uncollected fees; and
- More than $3.3 million in duplicate payments.
The Bureau of State Audits' report questioned why the Department of Health Services did not add staff sooner to help implement the law.
The report directs the department to issue a detailed report within 60 days on how its rates are calculated.
State auditors will check the system and issue a public letter that summarizes its results (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 3/9). 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.