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California Measure Would Prevent Cuts To Hospital-Based Nursing Care

Aired 6/24/13 on KPBS News.

California lawmakers and the Governor have reached a budget deal, but one measure moving through the legislature would require a change in health spending.

Efforts to stop California’s across-the-board to cut to Medi-Cal provider payments did not make it into the state budget agreement. But one bill moving through the legislature would stop those cuts to some nursing facilities.

The bill would prevent the state from reducing payments to nursing facilities within hospitals. The Medi-Cal cuts were approved two years ago but were held up in court until now.

Proponents of the bill said the impending cuts would reduce hospital nursing ward payments by 25 percent. Democratic Assemblymember Luis Alejo said that could result in closures.

“If they close these hospitals down they’ll be forced to send their parents, grandparents many hours away, not be regularly involved in their lives, so this will have a drastic impact on our own families," said Alejo.

The bill has changed significantly since it was first introduced – it wouldn’t stop the state from collecting retroactive savings that were held up by litigation.

The Brown administration said the state has the discretion to adjust cuts to Medi-Cal providers if patient access to care is compromised.

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