San Jose Medical Center Will End Medi-Cal Contract in September
San Jose Medical Center will end its Medi-Cal contract Sept. 21, after which time the facility will provide emergency care to Medi-Cal beneficiaries but will no longer provide elective services, the San Jose Mercury News reports. SJMC notified the state of its decision earlier this summer. According to hospital spokesperson Leslie Kelsay, Medi-Cal beneficiaries account for about 200 of the hospital's 10,000 to 11,000 annual elective admissions.
Kelsay said the decision was prompted by budget constraints and Medi-Cal reimbursement rates that the state has not increased, the Mercury News reports. She said, "Medi-Cal and Medicare do not come close to covering the cost of modern health care services." Kelsay said that without a Medi-Cal contract, SJMC would receive higher reimbursements for providing emergency care to Medi-Cal beneficiaries. She added, "The hospital will be in better financial shape to continue to care for their emergency admissions and patients without a contract."
Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access, a consumer advocacy group, said that the hospital is required by law to provide treatment to emergency patients regardless of their ability to pay. He said that SJMC is "not being magnanimous," adding, "Unfortunately, it says a lot about their values" (Gonzales, San Jose Mercury News, 8/4).