State Official Says 10% Medi-Cal Cut Could Be Implemented in Summer
A 10% cut to Medi-Cal reimbursement rates could be implemented this summer, according to a state official, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 6/5).
Background on 10% Cut
In October 2011, CMS approved the state's plan to reduce certain Medi-Cal payments by 10%. The cut would be retroactive to June 1, 2011.
According to the state Department of Health Care Services, the cut would apply to various health care providers and outpatient services.
In December 2012, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a district court ruling to stop the retroactive 10% cut. Health care providers asked the full 9th Circuit court to review the case.
In May, the full 9th Circuit Court upheld the cut.
As a result of the ruling, the 10% reduction now must be implemented unless plaintiffs appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court and the high court blocks the cut while the case is heard and decided.
State lawmakers also could block the cut by approving legislation that draws enough support to sustain a possible veto by Brown.
Timeline, Details of Cut
The exact timeline for implementation of the cut is unclear, the Business Journal reports.
H.D. Palmer -- a spokesperson for the California Department of Finance -- said, "It won't be July 1," adding, "Perhaps late summer."
The cut will start at $917 million for fiscal year 2013-2014 and one year later will increase to $1.4 billion.Palmer noted that reductions are up to 10%, rather than a flat 10% cut. He added that if state officials determine that a reduction for a certain provider creates a barrier to care access, they have the authority to scale back the cut or withdraw it entirely (Sacramento Business Journal, 6/5). 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.