Medi-Cal in California Subsidized 50% – 38 States Have Higher Reimbursements Leaving California Subsidizing Other States
Posted Jan 16 2010 1:08am
What is interesting here is that one of the states cited receiving more is Arizona at 65%, and I just posted that they are trying to kick 300,000 members in that state off the program. This is basically what is trying to happen here, so are we reforming healthcare? Arizona just had to sell their Capital buildings to generate revenue so they too are not in a good spot.
I think in better economic times California may have sat in a better position but not today as all our businesses are also suffering. I can agree here too with the number of doctors who do not take Medicaid as I hear it a lot, many do not take Medicaid as of today. The fear is that even less will jump from the roles so where do we go from here? Are we leaving out part of the equation here? If more become eligible, who’s going to care for them? Also in the news today we have Walgreens pulling out of Medicaid prescriptions in Washington due to low reimbursement rates.
I think we have to do better than this and have true healthcare reform. With transparency gaining momentum today with budgets, there’s no longer the ability to shift dollars from one area to another without it being known, in other words the sweetheart deals are out there for everyone to see. We also still have some Medicare issues too with doctors opting out in that arena and many cardiologists will close up their offices with the Medicare cuts coming in, so there’s even a greater shortage coming in to play.
As the governor stated last week, Nebraska got the corn and California is getting the husk. The money and good times financially California enjoyed for many years has been impacted. I don’t know why we keep hearing about the economy rebounding, the banks are which the US citizens financed, but where’s the rest of the deal for everyone else? Frankly I’m tired of reading articles about the rebounding economy when it just is not there and healthcare is at the top of the list. BD
WASHINGTON – Paul Phinney is happy to be working as a pediatrician in Sacramento these days, with a historic health care bill on the horizon.
For starters, he says it'll be easier to treat patients if Congress makes it illegal for insurance companies to deny treatment for pre-existing conditions. And he says it would be good if those companies could no longer place a cap on how much they'll pay for medical services.
The program, known as Medi-Cal, currently serves roughly 6.5 million poor Californians. And that number could increase by 2 million under the pending legislation. Congress wants to use the Medicaid program as a way to cover more of the uninsured poor, reasoning that it's a relatively cheap way to go by relying on existing programs.
But doctors say only a third of the state's 60,000 practicing physicians are participating in the program because of low reimbursement rates, and they fear that more physicians will opt out.
"Increasing eligibility for Medi-Cal without increasing reimbursement rates would be catastrophic," said Brennan Cassidy, president of the 35,000-member California Medical Association. "There's no place for those patients to go for primary care because doctors aren't accepting them."
The politics surrounding the issue are getting a little tricky to follow: While Congress is considering swelling the ranks eligible for Medi-Cal, Schwarzenegger wants to limit eligibility as a way to save the state money.
While the federal government pays half the cost in California, the governor noted that it pays 75 percent in Mississippi and 65 percent in Arizona. Altogether, he said, 38 states have higher reimbursement rates than California, which in effect means the Golden State's residents "are subsidizing the Medicaid program" in those other states.
"There's much that's very good in the bill," he said. "And I think that having people go into bankruptcy over health care costs is unconscionable in a country like ours. We can do better than that. All of us want something to happen."