Proposed Medi-Cal Pay Cuts Drawing Opposition in San Joaquin County
San Joaquin County health care providers are concerned that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) proposed 10% cuts in Medi-Cal payments to health care providers will undermine the program by pushing many providers to stop participating, the Stockton Record reports.
Providers are particularly concerned about the Hispanic community, which comprises 44% of Medi-Cal beneficiaries in San Joaquin County.
Javad Jamshidi, president of the San Joaquin County Medical Society, said, "These cuts will slash payments for health care for the poor by $1.1 billion, severely compromising access to health care for low income families ... and, ultimately, drive up health care costs for everyone."
If clinics cease to provide preventive services to Medi-Cal patients, medical experts warn that low-income families will most likely seek care at hospital emergency departments, where it is more expensive to treat many conditions than in other settings.
California's current Medi-Cal physician reimbursement rates are about 40% less than federal Medicare rates and 50% less than commercial rates, according to Jamshidi (Rodriguez, Stockton Record, 3/13).