Scripps Health Agrees To Continue Medi-Cal Contract Negotiations
Scripps Health officials on Friday said they will continue negotiations with the California Medical Assistance Commission over Medi-Cal payments for nonemergency procedures for beneficiaries in San Diego County, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The hospital chain has temporarily extended its Medi-Cal contract.
Scripps CEO Chris Van Gorder in January wrote a letter to CMAC stating that the hospital chain would not renew its Medi-Cal contract for its five hospitals in San Diego County after May 1 if the state did not provide higher payments for nonemergency care. About 3,500 Medi-Cal beneficiaries could have to find new health care providers if Scripps does not renew its Medi-Cal contract, and other hospitals in the area say Scripps withdrawing from Medi-Cal would lead to a "major disruption to the county's health care system."
According to the Union-Tribune, Medi-Cal payment rates in part are based on "how much California needs a hospital to absorb an area's patient load." A state report indicates that San Diego County has five times more beds than necessary to serve the area.
Van Gorder and officials at other hospitals in San Diego County said that Medi-Cal reimbursement rates are inadequate, but CMAC officials say they have been told not to increase Medi-Cal reimbursement rates for hospitals.
Scripps spokesperson Don Stanziano said, "It's getting down to details. We're close. We're dotting the i's and crossing the t's" (Clark, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/30).