California Lawmakers Aim To Tackle Rural Health Challenges

Two proposals meant to ease burdens faced by California's rural patients and their health care providers are breezing through the state legislature as lawmakers finish up for the year.

One measure passed Wednesday requires Medi-Cal to cover patients' transportation to medical appointments.

Another bill would allow small rural hospitals to hire doctors directly, which supporters say could reduce health care costs and make it easier to keep physicians in areas where there are few. To get to the governor’s desk, the hospital employment measure would need to pass the Senate and go back for a second Assembly floor vote before Aug. 31.

Supporters of the transportation measure said patients would be more likely to show up for a medical appointment if they didn’t have to worry about the cost of a bus ticket or were reimbursed for driving long distances. Click here to view the full article.

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