Federal officials are trying to clamp down on private arrangements among some hospitals to pay themselves back for the Medicaid taxes they’ve paid. State health officials and the influential hospital industry argue that regulators have no jurisdiction over the agreements.
State officials have promised to boost funding for California’s Medicaid program by $11.1 billion starting next year, with most of that money earmarked for higher payments to doctors, hospitals, and other providers. But the details have yet to be worked out, and powerful health industry groups are jockeying for position.
California Healthline journalists discuss the need to update personal information to maintain Medi-Cal coverage, why health finance experts caution against a sweeping hospital industry bailout, and more recent reporting.
California Healthline has learned that a coalition of doctors, hospitals, insurers, and community clinics want to lock in a tax on health insurance companies to draw in extra Medicaid funding. It also wants to make the tax permanent.
As hospitals squeeze Democratic leaders in Sacramento for more money, health care finance experts and former state officials warn against falling for the industry’s fear tactics. They point to healthy profits and a recession-era financing scheme that allows rich hospitals to take tax money from poorer ones.
Carolina Reyes, a physician who specializes in high-risk pregnancies, says providers and health systems have a role in tackling systemic racism. She’s also married to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.
A Medi-Cal patient illustrates how early schizophrenia treatments can yield big benefits. Advocates want California to expand such services to more people living with severe mental illness, which they argue will not only improve lives but also save money over time.
Gov. Gavin Newsom declared that California would cut ties with Walgreens after the company said it would not distribute abortion pills in some states. But federal rules make it difficult for the state to unwind its Medicaid prescription drug agreement, which paid Walgreens $1.5 billion last year.
Eli Lilly’s news that it plans to cut insulin costs for patients will help, not hinder, the recent efforts in California and by entrepreneurs such as Mark Cuban to offer lower-cost alternatives, drug pricing experts said.
Rather than simply reward top-performing facilities, the state’s Medicaid program will hand bonuses to nursing homes — even low-rated ones — for hiring more workers and reducing staff turnover.