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Primary Care Doctors Who Serve California’s Poor Could Get a Pay Raise

Primary care doctors who serve the poor in California could get a pay raise starting next year.

The federal government announced Wednesday that states could get eleven billion dollars to bolster payments under programs like Medi-Cal.

Dr. Jim Hay is the president of the California Medical Association. He said more money to Medi-Cal could make more doctors available to patients.

"Medi-Cal patients have a very hard time finding physicians," said Hay. "Fewer than half of the physicians of California are able to afford seeing Medical patients because the reimbursement is so low, it's well below what it costs to deliver the care."

Dr. Hay also said reimbursement for a primary care visit in the state's Medicaid system can be as low as eleven dollars. He explained Medi-Cal has one of the lowest reimbursement rates in the nation.

The increased doctor pay proposal is part of the Affordable Care Act, and would be in effect for two years.

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Avatar for user 'andrewclarks'

andrewclarks | May 10, 2012 at 3:36 a.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

If you don't have health insurance and get sick, the tax payers have to pay for it anyway- so go get health insurance please- search online "Penny Health" and learn how you can get insurance at discount price.

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Avatar for user 'susan256'

susan256 | May 12, 2012 at 10:16 a.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

Seems perfectly reasonable for the primary care doctors to be paid adequately. It's also an incentive to take on Medi-Cal and help reduce the burden on taxpayers when those with lower income go to the ER for basic health care but can't afford to pay the bill. More access to primary care doctors has potential for regular visits and answers to questions about preventive care, heading off expensive future care.

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