Orange County Supervisors Vote To Increase Funds for Indigent Health Care Program
The Orange County Board of Supervisors yesterday voted 4-0 to restructure the Medical Services for Indigents program, which provides non-mandated care for uninsured county residents, the Los Angeles Times reports. Supervisors approved a proposal that would increase the county's annual allocation for the program to $47 million, which includes an additional $2 million to cover the program's increased pharmaceutical costs. The proposal also adds a managed care component to the program that includes a case management system to refer participants to the "appropriate care," the Times reports. However, patient advocates said that the proposal did not address the lack of funds for the system, the Times reports. Proposals to restructure the county's indigent health care system received a "major push" in August, when officials at the University of California-Irvine Medical Center announced that the hospital would no longer accept new patients who reside more than five miles from the facility. As a result, the county has negotiated with other hospitals to "equalize the patient load." Supervisors yesterday also voted to spend $7.2 million of the county's share of the national tobacco settlement on the Coalition of Orange County Community Clinics, which will use the funds to increase patient access to health clinics (Gottlieb, Los Angeles Times, 10/2).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.