Tuesday, May 21, 2013
The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP), a federally-funded, state-run interim program, is moving from state to federal oversight for the rest of the year.
A high-risk pool for people unable to secure health care insurance under pre-Affordable Care Act rules, PCIP is temporary because the new federal reform law prohibits insurers from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
Now the "state-run" part of that program is also on its way out, as California will shift control and management of the program to federal officials, according to administrators at the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board (MRMIB), which currently runs PCIP in California....more
Monday, May 20, 2013
In 2011, the Legislature went along with the governor's plan to cut Medi-Cal provider rates by 10%. Provider groups immediately went to the courts to stop it, saying that patient access to care would be threatened by such a severe reduction. Now the final decision rests with a federal judge. A ruling is expected soon.
If a federal judge signs off on the law, Medi-Cal providers in California will have rates cut by 10% and also will need to pay back two years' worth of that 10% reduction. The effect would be a 15% rate cut for the next four years and a 10% cut thereafter.
The 10% cut represents about $600 million a year to the California budget....more
Friday, May 17, 2013
The Assembly yesterday passed a bill that requires state officials to include race and ethnicity when compiling health care quality data.
AB 411 by Assembly member Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) would not create any kind of difficulty for state officials, since that data already exists, according to Pan. The point is to make state officials use it, Pan said.
"It's similar to the way MRMIB (Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board) used to analyze Healthy Families data," Pan said. "This is a vital thing that we need to do."...more
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Covered California exchange officials on Tuesday awarded $37 million in outreach grants to 48 community-based organizations. Those groups all have a wide reach, and represent a much bigger bloc of community organizations, according to Peter Lee, executive director of the California Health Benefit Exchange, now known as Covered California.
"We are talking about 250 organizations within these 48 groups," Lee said. "We encourage them to work together so what you're seeing here is partnership."
Lee said applicants were encouraged to aim high, because the exchange wants to reach as many people as possible and so much of the target market -- a multi-cultural, low-income and multilingual population -- is difficult to reach....more
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
The optional expansion of Medi-Cal will be administered using a state-based approach rather than the county-based plan being considered by California officials, the governor said yesterday when he proposed his May revise, the mid-year revision of the state budget.
That comes as welcome news to county health officials who have cautioned for months that a county-based system would be more confusing and costly than a state-based approach.
Gov. Jerry Brown listened, apparently.
"We want to do it generously, and boldly," Brown said of the optional expansion. "There are some questions out there, so we want to do it prudently. It's a matter of equity, and it's something we'll work out over the next few years." ...more