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1 in 3 Medi-Cal Enrollees Delay Care on Cost Concerns

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, May 31, 2012

And California, he says, "has it as bad as anybody."

California pays physicians who take care of Medicaid patients about 56% of what it the same services would pay under the Medicare program. California ranks 47th out of 50th in states regarding Medi-Cal spending, according to a CHCF report from April, 2009.

In 2009, the state implemented $134 million in Medi-Cal program cuts, $115 million of which was for cuts in dental services. Other cuts reduced access to speech therapy, podiatric and audiology services, chiropractic and acupuncture care, optometric and optician and psychology services, Perrone says.

Currently, the state proposes to cut 10% more from payments to physicians, clinics, optometrists, therapists, laboratories, dental services, durable medical equipment and pharmacy; 10% cuts to freestanding nursing and adult sub-acute facilities and 10% payment reduction and rate freezes for nursing facility Part B services. They are pending court challenges from physician and hospital groups.

Historically, provider payment rates make California among the lowest, if not the lowest, in terms of physician compensation for care for Medi-Cal patients and at the bottom in terms of Medicaid program spending per beneficiary.

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1 comments on "1 in 3 Medi-Cal Enrollees Delay Care on Cost Concerns"


M. Bennet Broner, PhD (5/31/2012 at 11:39 AM)
Though undeniably some people have to forgo some health care, I've found far too often that it is not a question of economics, but choices. The same person who complains about not having a medication copay smokes a pack of cigarettes daily and has little interest in reducing this number. If s/he reduced her smoking by only four a day, she's have sufficient money for the copay in less than a week. Similarly, older individuals spend hugh amounts of money annually on nostrums with little therapeutic value, but complain about insufficient funds for health care. At some point, there has to be personal responsibility rather than system blame!