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California seeks to block Medi-Cal payment ruling

San Francisco Chronicle, August 27, 2008

California health officials have asked a federal judge to suspend her order requiring them to restore 10% cuts in Medi-Cal payments to doctors, dentists, and pharmacists, saying the ruling was unclear and legally flawed. Paying full fees to healthcare providers would cost at least $500 million a year and "will only worsen California's already dire financial situation," state lawyers said. They also said it would take at least three weeks to reprogram computers to increase the payments, and allowing the 10% reductions to remain in place for another month or two would not harm Medi-Cal's 6.6 million patients.