SAN DIEGO: County’s Proposed Health Plan Stalls Amid Dispute
"Consumer representatives squared off against health care industry leaders yesterday in a battle" over San Diego County's efforts to expand health services for the indigent, "and the outcome may signal the end of the effort to create" a new medical system for the county. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Board of Supervisors met to determine the details involved in contracting a consultant to organize the proposed system, under which the Medi-Cal and County Medical Services programs would be united in an effort to boost the system's "purchasing clout." After bickering among the board, members voted 3-2 to require county members to re-submit the proposed contract following the selection of the consultant. The Union-Tribune reports that "[a]dvocates of the new system fear yesterday's vote sets the stage to delay or squash the planning with a similar vote next month." Supervisor Dianne Jacob predicts the objections put forth by the health care industry will hinder the county's plan. She said, "I hope this isn't a veiled attempt to kill the whole effort." Although the measure to create the system was initially supported by both health care industry officials and consumers, "health care providers began backing away, realizing that individual institutions may be pitted against each other in future bidding for indigent care." Supervisor Ron Roberts said he "favors a more careful approach" before a decision is reached on the measure, and expressed concern with the county's swift approach (Dalton, 9/16). Click here to read past coverage of this issue.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.