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California Doctors, Dentists To Rally For Higher Medi-Cal Pay

The California state capitol is shown in this undated photograph.
Capital Public Radio
The California state capitol is shown in this undated photograph.

California Doctors, Dentists To Rally For Higher Medi-Cal Pay
Doctors, dentists and nurses will hold a rally at the state capitol Tuesday calling for higher Medi-Cal reimbursement rates.

Medical office visit: $16.

Teeth cleaning: $20.

Those rates are what's prompting doctors, dentists and other providers to stage a rally Tuesday at the state capitol.

A coalition of health providers called We Care for California is calling on state lawmakers to increase the Medi-Cal and Denti-Cal reimbursement rates. Coalition members complain Medi-Cal pays one of the lowest Medicaid rates in the nation.

Leticia Carrion, a nurse practitioner at Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside, is going to the rally. She says low rates are causing a growing number of doctors and dentists to stop treating new Medi-Cal and Denti-Cal patients. And that, she said, puts patients in a tough spot.

“I talk to their families, I talk to the patients," she said. "They’re in a place where they feel left out. Nobody cares about them.”

Medi-Cal officials maintain they’re keeping an eye on the situation to make sure there’s adequate access to care.