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Doctors, Hospitals And Insurers Ask For More Pay From Medi-Cal

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Doctors, Hospitals And Insurers Ask For More Pay From Medi-Cal
A coalition of major players in the healthcare business is asking the state to pay providers more money for treating Medi-Cal patients.

Sixteen dollars doesn't cover a lot of overhead for doctors in California.

But that's all they get paid for seeing a patient with Medi-Cal coverage, California's version of Medicaid.

A coalition of doctors, hospitals and insurers called We Care for California is asking state lawmakers to give them a pay raise. The group complains California's Medi-Cal rate is one of the lowest Medicaid rates in the nation.

More than 12 million Californians are enrolled in the program. But having coverage and locating a physician who will accept Medi-Cal are two different things.

Just ask San Diegan Jeeni Crescenzo.

She and her husband enrolled in the Medi-Cal program last December. She was given a list of doctors to choose from.

"None of them are taking Medi-Cal," she said. "And they're not taking new patients. So here we are, six months later, and we still don't have a doctor."

The California Medical Association says 56 percent of Medi-Cal patients report trouble finding a doctor.

Coalition members want the state to bring the Medi-Cal rate in line with what Medicare pays.