Study: Public Medi-Cal Plans Scoring Higher for Popularity, Care Quality
California's 13 publicly run Medi-Cal managed care plans are attracting more enrollees and demonstrating higher quality than commercial Medi-Cal plans or fee-for-service options, according to a new study by the Pacific Health Consulting Group, Payers & Providers reports.
Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
Slightly more than half of California's 6.8 million Medi-Cal beneficiaries are enrolled in managed care plans, with the remainder obtaining care on a fee-for-service basis.
Of the Medi-Cal managed care members, about 61% are enrolled in public plans operated by a local government or agency.
The report predicts that by the end of 2010, that number will rise to 66% as Fresno, Kings, Madera and Ventura counties roll out new public Medi-Cal plans. Those plans are expected to attract 120,000 enrollees.
The study also notes that about 70% of Medi-Cal beneficiaries choose the public plan in counties where a public option competes with a commercial one.
The study also found that public Medi-Cal managed care plans scored from 20% to 56% higher than commercial plans on the 2008 Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set measures.In addition, the report found that the cost of providing care was 5% lower for public Medi-Cal plans compared with commercial ones. The study estimates that public plans have helped reduce state and federal spending by about $2 billion over the past 10 years (Payers & Providers, 3/4). 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.