Doctors Livid Over Medi-Cal Pay Cut
Monday, October 31, 2011
Aired 10/31/11 on KPBS News.
Doctors warn the recently approved 10 percent pay cut for treating Medi-Cal patients will hurt access to care for poor Californians.
SAN DIEGO Doctors say the decision to reduce the rate Medi-Cal pays physicians by 10 percent will make a fragile system even worse. Federal officials approved the pay cut late last week.
State officials say the pay cut is necessary to help California reduce its budget deficit, but the San Diego County Medical Society says the reduction is penny wise and pound foolish.
The group complains Medi-Cal payment rates are already among the lowest in the nation. It argues the 10 percent cut will cause many doctors to either reduce their Medi-Cal patient load, or to stop treating Medi-Cal patients altogether. The Society maintains that will hurt access to care, and will force more people to go to emergency rooms for treatment.
State officials say they're confident access to care won't be adversely affected.
The California Medical Association plans to ask the courts to block the cut immediately.