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Health Care Providers File Suit to Block Medi-Cal Cuts

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

A coalition of California's most powerful health care providers is suing the state to block cuts to the Medi-Cal program. The ten percent cut in the rate Medi-Cal pays providers is scheduled to take effect in July. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

Lawmakers approved the reductions in Medi-Cal spending as part of their effort to shrink California's budget deficit. The lawsuit claims the state failed to take into account the impact of such cuts on access to care.   The California Pharmacists Association is one of the plaintiffs. CPA president Paul Lofholm says the cuts will be catastrophic.

Lofholm: Pharmacists will be unable to purchase brand name drugs, or dispense those drugs, because the reimbursement rates are less than what it costs to buy the drug.

The California Medical Association is also challenging the cuts. The group says many doctors will refuse to see Medi-Cal patients if the cuts go through.

Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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