Will Twin Medi-Cal Cuts Affect Access?

The combination of 2 Medi-Cal primary care rate decreases could mean primary care providers who see a lot of Medi-Cal patients will have to scale back or stop seeing those beneficiaries.

Reimbursement rates dropped January 1 for Medi-Cal primary care providers in 2 ways:

  • A provision of the Affordable Care Act temporarily set primary care reimbursement rates at Medicare levels, significantly higher than Medicaid payments. The increase lasted 2 years and expired on January 1.
  • A state reduction in Medi-Cal reimbursement for primary care providers hit on the same day. The 10% rate cut, approved by the California Legislature in 2011, was held up while the matter was thrashed out in court. Last year, the courts upheld the state's right to reduce provider reimbursement and health care officials decided to implement the cutbacks in phases. The last phase, which includes primary care providers, went into effect Jan. 1.

The federal drop is much more precipitous, but it's the combination of the 2 rate decreases that has Francisco Silva concerned. Mr Silva, vice president of legal affairs at the California Medical Association, said primary care providers who see a lot of Medi-Cal patients will have to scale back or stop seeing those beneficiaries.

Read more: http://bit.ly/1wxH09Z