Medical Groups Call Medi-Cal Cuts Illegal

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – The California Department of Health Care Services’ proposed 10 percent reduction in Medi-Cal reimbursements will illegally prevent the state from fulfilling its mandate to enlist enough providers so that qualified recipients will have access to health care, lead plaintiff the California Medical Association claims in a class action in Superior Court.

     Faced with a budget deficit of as much as $20 billion this year, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Jan. 10 proposed across-the-board 10 percent funding cuts in state programs. The Legislature obediently enacted A.B. X3 5 in special session on Feb. 16.
     Schwarzenegger estimated the Medi-Cal program cuts would come to $668 million, though the plaintiffs claim it will be twice that.
     Plaintiffs claim physicians’ reimbursements under Medi-Cal have not increased since 2001, despite the constantly rising costs of providing medical care. They claim the budget cuts will exacerbate the already intolerable access problems.
     Plaintiffs are represented by Craig Cannizzo with Hooper, Lundy & Bookman.
     Here are the plaintiffs: California Medical Association; California Hospital Association; California Dental Association; California Association for Adult Day Services; American College of Emergency Physicians, State Chapter of California, Inc.; California Pharmacists Association; and the California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems.

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