Proposed Medi-Cal changes questioned

February 24, 2012

Major changes for the state’s medical program for the needy are in the works, even as legislative advisers and advocates raise major questions. [CaliforniaWatch]

Changes include more seniors being routed to managed care programs, a reinvention of how hospitals are paid and the collapse of two state agencies that currently serve beneficiaries, California Watch said.

The Legislative Analyst’s Office prepared a written statement on Friday warning constituents and legislators alike to vote down Gov. Jerry Brown’s new plans for the Medi-Cal and Medicare programs.

The Governor’s changes would supposedly save some $679 billion during this year alone by redefining the hospital billing system, putting more seniors into the hands of managed care, and allowing the Department of Health Care Services to absorb the duties of the state’s mental health facilities as well as drug and alcohol programs.

The plan is based on a pilot project launched in four counties within the state that moved current Medi-Cal and Medicare patients into managed care. Upon implementation within the entire state, some 1.9 million Medicare and Medi-Cal patients, including those with disabilities, would be affected by the changes.

While the pilot seemed successful where implemented, the analyst’s office called the proposal to implement such policies statewide “premature” and encouraged further assessments and evidence of the program’s success before proceeding with the plan in other areas.

The Senate and Assembly will hold a joint hearing today to discuss the transition from the old to new ways in which hospitals are paid. Legislation passed in 2010 calls for a change from the status quo, where hospitals are being paid by prearranged rates, to a new form of payment based on how sick patients are. The switch is scheduled to take place Jan. 1, 2013

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Even though I don’t agree with all of them, I love all the changes by Jerry Brown, he’s a do’er. He, unlike so many other of our politicians (on both the right and the left) walks the walk. Jerry Brown is not afraid to make unpopular and difficult decisions. We are very lucky to have him.

I’m not a Dem, typoqueen, so you know I didn’t vote for the guy *but* I do agree w/you that he’s a doer. Like it or not, he’s doing what he said he would. He doesn’t waffle like so many on the Right do.

Again, I’d never vote for Brown but I do have waaaay more respect for him than I do for our former governator.

That really was my point. As we all know the waffling isn’t just on the right, most politicians do that, right, left and middle of the road. They promise the moon then they come in and they don’t do anything and most of all they won’t stick to their convictions and their beliefs if they think that it will hurt them politically. A lot of libs including some unions are mad at Brown for some of his cutbacks but it doesn’t sway him, I respect that. I also believe him to be honest,,well as honest as a politician can be. Brown got a bad rap when he was our gov. before, it was unwarranted though. I followed him closely back then and he did a great job, he was very effecitve. But because he dated Linda Ronstadt and hung out with the Hollywood crowd he really became a focus of ridicule by those on the right. But if you honestly look at his record, he’s been very effective, he was a good mayor, a good gov. and a good Attorney General. I guess you can tell that I’m a fan.

I don’t feel that Arnie was that bad, he also gets a bad rap. He was just in way over his head, he just didn’t have the skills to be an effective gov. of a state during such terrible economic times IMO. If he hadn’t come into such a mess to begin with then he might have done a better job.

“I love all the changes by Jerry Brown…” Wow. A very bold statement. All of them? I’m jotting this down for future reference.

No, I don’t really love all of the changes but no one should agree with anyone 100% of the time. But over all I feel he’s the best gov this state has ever had. He might screw up, he might make some things worse but he’s at least making some bold moves instead of just campaigning for his re-election like so many other politicians do.