Sacramento County Announces November Launch of LIHP
The county initially planned to begin participating in LIHP in August, but negotiations with participating hospitals required additional time, according to county officials (Kalb, Sacramento Bee, 10/18).
LIHPÂ is an optional federal program for California that can be established at the local level. It is part ofÂ the state'sÂ Bridge to Reform program that aims to expand health coverage until certain federal health reform provisions take effect in 2014.
LIHPÂ serves low-income adults without children, who will qualify for Medi-Cal in 2014 under the federal overhaul. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program. LIHP will be dismantled following the Medi-Cal expansion.
Counties that set up the program are required to expand services at clinics and access to primary care providers. The program offers matching federal funds on all local spending (California Healthline, 3/6).
The state Department of Health Care Services said that about 552,000 people statewide are enrolled inÂ LIHP thus far.
Details of Sacramento County's LIHP Initiative
As many as 14,000 adults in the region could be eligible for Sacramento County's LIHP initiative. However, county officials say it is possible that only about 8,000 adults could enroll in the program over the next eight months, which would reduce the expected initial cost of the initiative.
The federal government will reimburse Sacramento County for about 50% of the expected $53 million cost of the program for fiscal year 2012-2013.
Sutter Health and Dignity Health have contracted to provide health care services under the initiative at their five county hospitals. Kaiser Permanente is expected to enter contract negotiations with Sacramento County later this month.
UC-Davis Health System has not agreed to a LIHP contract with the county.
Steve Soto -- regional director for Molina Healthcare, which will administer LIHP -- said that UC-Davis has "separate discussions going on with Sacramento County on a separate issue that they made as a condition for discussing and finalizing a LIHP contract."
According to the Bee, Sacramento County and UC-Davis are involved in litigation over the county's decision to halt reimbursements for care provided to patients under the County Medically Indigent Services Program (Sacramento Bee, 10/18).
Broadcast CoverageOn Wednesday, Capital Public Radio's "KXJZ News" reported on Sacramento County's LIHP launch (Bartolone, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 10/17). 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.