Stanislaus County Backs Down From Changes To Indigent Care Program
Stanislaus County officials have announced that they will reconsider a decision to reduce eligibility and increase copayments for its indigent health care program, the Modesto Bee reports.
The program provides health care for low-income county residents who are ineligible for Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program.
In September 2009, county supervisors approved a plan to raise monthly copayments and scale back eligibility for the indigent care program.
On Jan. 26, the Western Center on Law & Poverty sent a letter claiming that the program changes violated state law requiring counties to provide indigent health care. The group indicated that it might pursue legal action.
The law center has challenged similar cuts to indigent care programs in other counties.
After receiving the letter, county officials reviewed state regulations and determined that county clinics must provide medical services without first requiring advance payment from program participants.
Dean Wright, county deputy counsel, said county clinics stopped requiring advance payment earlier this week. He added that the county will continue to bill patients for their share of medical costs.
County officials say they might re-evaluate the earlier board decision. The law center has given the county until Feb. 12 to agree to a change in policies (Carlson, Modesto Bee, 2/4).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.