Riverside County Mulls Cuts to Health Program for Severely Ill Children
Riverside County officials are considering removing more than 400 children from a state-mandated program that guarantees access to specialty care, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The program, called California Children's Services, provides health coverage for children with costly illnesses, such as birth defects, cancer and heart disease. Children in the program receive treatment from medical teams that specialize in managing severe health conditions and disabilities.
On Monday, the Riverside County Department of Public Health will hold a mandatory hearing with the county Board of Supervisors to discuss the planned cuts, which would reduce county spending by $1.3 million.
The proposed cuts would target 436 Riverside County children who are eligible for California Children's Services but who do not qualify for Healthy Families or Medi-Cal because their parents earn too much money. Healthy Families is California's Children's Health Insurance Program, and Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
If the county cuts $1.3 million from California Children's Services, it would lose $1.3 million in matching funds from the state. Therefore, the proposed cut would reduce the program's budget by $2.6 million total.
The state Department of Health Care Services contends that Riverside County does not have the authority to cut off eligible applicantsÂ from the program.
Anthony Cava, spokesperson for DHCS, said parents with children who are denied services can file an appeal (Hines, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 5/15).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.