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CA patients struggle to transition to managed care system

Los Angeles Times, July 5, 2012

One year ago, California began moving certain Medi-Cal patients into a managed healthcare system with the goal of saving money while better coordinating treatment. But for some of these low-income seniors and disabled patients, the transition has been anything but smooth, forcing severely ill patients to give up their doctors, delay treatment and travel long distances for specialty care. As of this month, the state has transitioned 333,000 people, many with diseases such as multiple sclerosis, lupus and metastatic cancer. State health officials said managed care oversees all of the patients' treatment and guides them through the healthcare system, helping prevent unnecessary procedures and hospital visits.