Monday, January 10, 2011
Some of California’s community health care clinics could close if Governor Jerry Brown’s Medi-Cal plans are implemented.
Gov. Brown wants to cap the total dollar amount available for certain Medi-Cal services, such as hearing aids, prescriptions and wound care. Currently, there are no caps. Medi-Cal beneficiaries who receive treatment would also pay a share of their costs up to $200. Medi-Cal patients who can’t pay would be denied services and referred to local indigent programs.
Carmella Castellano Garcia heads the California Primary Care Association, and she said the cuts could place an outsized burden on local community health clinics---and that some of clinics could be forced to close.
“We are concerned with these forms of cuts, we will continue to see clinics close and people lose access to health care,” Garcia said.
Most of the significant changes to Medi-Cal must be approved by the federal government. In the next fiscal year, if no changes are made, Medi-Cal programs are expected to cost the state more than $17 billion.