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Healthcare Providers Seek to Block Medi-Cal Cuts


Aired 4/19/09


A coalition of healthcare providers is suing the State of California to block a five percent Medi-Cal rate cut from taking effect next month. The cut was approved by state lawmakers last fall. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.


Lawmakers say the reduction in Medi-Cal payments is needed to help balance the state budget.


The California associations representing hospitals, doctors, and pharmacists say the cuts are illegal. They claim the state didn’t study what the impact of the rate cuts would be.


Attorney Byron Gross represents the plaintiffs. He believes the effects would be immediate.


Byron Gross : Especially if you look at the pharmacy cuts. There's some drugs that once the cuts go into effect, the pharmacies will be reimbursed less it even costs them to buy the drug from the manufacturer.


Gross says pharmacies may just stop dispensing those drugs to Medi-Cal patients.


State officials say the cuts comply with state and federal laws.


Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.



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