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Low reimbursement rates could hinder Medi-Cal expansion

San Jose Mercury News, July 13, 2012

Many doctors now refuse to accept Medi-Cal patients or sharply limit the number they see because of what they describe as extremely low reimbursement rates. As California gears up for a major expansion of Medi-Cal under national health reform, such compensation is leading to a critical concern: Will enough physicians be willing to see the influx of new patients? Now covering 7.7 million Californians, Medi-Cal is the state's version of the federal Medicaid program. It is expected to grow by 900,000 children with the state's recent elimination of the Healthy Families program. The state will enroll an additional 1.5 million or more adults when national health reforms take effect in 2014.