Physicians Face Wait Times for Medi-Cal Enrollment
The average wait time to process applications from physicians to participate in Medi-Cal has decreased from six months ago when there was a backlog of about 11,000 applications, the Sacramento Bee reports. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
Stan Rosenstein, deputy director of medical care services for the Department of Health Services, said the average wait time now is about 35 days -- "as good as we're probably going to get." He said the approval process takes time because of efforts to prevent Medi-Cal fraud. According to Rosenstein, there are about 3,000 applications pending review.
Citing concerns about increased fraud, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) this year vetoed a bill (SB 1353) that was intended to streamline the Medi-Cal enrollment process for physicians.
There are about 46 primary care physicians enrolled as Medi-Cal providers per 100,000 beneficiaries, according to the California HealthCare Foundation. The national standard for Medicaid is 60 to 80 health care providers per 100,000 beneficiaries.
Rosenstein said the state is concerned about maintaining a sufficient roster of health care providers to treat Medi-Cal beneficiaries (Benson, Sacramento Bee, 11/25).