Monday, October 31, 2011

California Physicians to Go to Court to Block Medicaid Pay Cuts

The latest flap is over the latest 10 per cent cut of physician's fees by the State of California.
The California Medical Association (CMA) will go to court again to block the latest cut to already stingy Medicaid reimbursement rates in that state, a CMA leader said today.

The association contends that the 10% reduction in provider reimbursement will drive more physicians out of the program and make it harder for the poor to receive medical care, violating federal requirements that govern the Medicaid program.

"When regulators don't follow their own rules, legal action is our only recourse," CMA Vice Speaker Ted Mazer, MD, told Medscape Medical News. "They've just destroyed the program."
No California physician in his right business mind would accept Medi-Cal (California's Medicaid), especially with all of the governmental regulations.

Here we have another consequence of ObamaCare and the Medi-Cal cuts actually undermine it. I mean, how can you have affordable medical care when there are no providers of such care?
The CMA has repeatedly argued that by approving the reduction in Medi-Cal rates, the Obama administration is undermining its own Affordable Care Act, which will add 3 million individuals to the state program beginning in 2014 as a result of expanded Medicaid eligibility.

"On one hand, [the administration] is trying to create the infrastructure for healthcare reform where they put at least a third of the newly insured into Medicaid, and at the same time the administration is gutting the Medicaid program in California," said Dr. Mazer. "CMS has set a precedent — balance your budget on the backs of the poor. I'm sure other states will follow suit."

Carol Havens, MD, the president of the California chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians, agrees with Dr. Mazer about the effects of the rate cut on healthcare reform.

"Having insurance means nothing if you don't have access to care," Dr. Havens told Medscape Medical News. "I see a world of hurt in this decision.

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