Leaders Push To Exempt Skilled Nursing From 10% Medi-Cal Cut

On Wednesday, state lawmakers, hospital leaders and labor unions rallied at the State Capitol in support of a bill (AB 900) that would stop a retroactive 10% cut to Medi-Cal reimbursements for hospital-based skilled nursing services, the Sacramento Business Journal reports (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 4/10).

In October 2011, CMS approved the state's plan to reduce certain Medi-Cal payments by 10%. The state Department of Health Care Services has estimated that the cut -- which would be retroactive to June 1, 2011 -- will save the state $431 million.

According to DHCS, the cut would apply to:

•A number of providers and outpatient services, including clinics, dentists, laboratories, optometrists and pharmacists; and

•Freestanding nursing and adult subacute care facilities, as well as other nursing facilities.

The payment reduction is included in Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) fiscal year 2013-2014 budget proposal and comes as California prepares to expand Medi-Cal to individuals who earn up to 138% of the federal poverty level -- or $15,415 annually -- under the Affordable Care Act (California Healthline, 1/29).

Health care advocates have said that the cuts -- which are based on funding levels in fiscal year 2008-2009 -- would result in a 25% reduction to Medi-Cal services (Sacramento Business Journal, 4/10).

Read more here.

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