Shift To Medi-Cal HMO in the Works
Sonoma County in 2008 will implement a Medi-Cal managed care plan, moving its Medi-Cal beneficiaries over from a fee-for-service plan, the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat reports. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
The new system could reduce the $190 million annually spent on Medi-Cal in Sonoma County by about 20%, according to the Press-Democrat.
Sonoma County health officials are considering joining the Partnership HealthPlan of California. Napa, Solano and Yolo counties participate in the managed care plan for low-income people, and Marin, Mendocino and Lake counties are considering joining.
Under the new system, the state would pay medical providers monthly per capita rates instead of reimbursing physicians per service. The current fee-for-service system has been criticized by medical providers for having low reimbursement rates.
The plan was initiated in 2005 by state health officials, who identified Sonoma County as one of 13 counties that could benefit from an HMO system for Medi-Cal beneficiaries (Rose, Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, 12/13).