Latest California Healthline Stories
Dental hygienists who treat frail and elderly residents in nursing homes and other facilities are dropping out of California’s publicly funded dental program for the poor because of recent changes that cut their pay and create more administrative hurdles.
Complaints are rising in California and other states about improper evictions and discharges. Advocates say some patients end up in cheap hotels, homeless or back in the hospital.
Many medical groups and state Medicaid programs are offering gift cards, cash and other rewards to low-income patients if they agree to get preventive screenings and make healthier lifestyle choices.
An explosive report prepared by a SynerMed executive alleges the California firm, which oversaw care for 1.2 million patients, fabricated documents and violated state and federal regulations for years. The state says it left low-income patients on Medicaid managed care in “imminent danger.”
State regulators and insurers are looking into SynerMed, which medical groups depend upon to handle their finances and business operations. The groups, serving 1 million patients, fear a messy fallout.
Amid financial losses and the uncertainty of federal funding under Obamacare, health insurers find there’s money to be made in Medicaid.
Medicaid is rarely associated with getting rich. But some insurance companies are reaping spectacular profits off the taxpayer-funded program in California, even when the state finds their patient care is subpar.
States are adding a variety of services, including expansions of mental health and substance abuse treatments and dental care, according to a 50-state survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Medi-Cal enrollees have an easier time getting into a nursing home if they are coming from the hospital rather than from their homes or from assisted living.
Those relying on the federal government’s safety net are grandmothers, the kid next door, your supermarket cashier — maybe even you.