San Luis Obispo County May Adopt Medi-Cal Managed Care
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) is expected to sign legislation (AB 417) to expand a Medi-Cal managed care system to beneficiaries in San Luis Obispo County, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reports. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid system.
Under the bill by Assembly members Sam Blakeslee (R-San Luis Obispo) and Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara), Medi-Cal beneficiaries in San Luis Obispo County would be enrolled in the Santa Barbara Regional Health Authority.
Officials contend that the managed care system improves access to care because it pays providers at a higher rate than the old system. The new system also has been praised for reducing costs by boosting efficiency and offering programs that help patients manage their health and reduce hospitalization.
Bob Freeman, deputy CEO of the Health Authority, said the system has recruited local physicians, pharmacists and other health care providers to join its panel of providers. He added that he hopes to contract with more providers once the state releases its payment rates (Arnquist, San Luis Obispo Tribune, 9/24).