Scripps Health Reaches New Medi-Cal Agreement
Scripps Health officials on Thursday announced a two-year contract with the California Medical Assistance Commission to treat Medi-Cal beneficiaries, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (Clark, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/27).
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 (California Healthline, 5/3). Scripps officials said that its Medi-Cal reimbursement rates were less than those paid to other hospitals, especially some Northern California facilities.
The rates that Scripps agreed to are "the subject of much speculation among hospitals" because state law prohibits CMAC and hospitals from disclosing rates for as long as four years after a contract expires, the Union-Tribune reports.
Van Gorder said, "We got incrementally farther ahead than we had been in the past. But are we completely happy? No. Are the geographic inequities resolved? No." He added, "But we did make improvements. Otherwise we would not have signed the contract."
Steve Escoboza -- president of the Healthcare Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties, which represents hospitals -- said Scripps officials "led the way in presenting information and data that helped bring out this issue of inequity" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/27).