Calif. to get nearly $2B in un­com­pen­sated-care funds

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Vir­gil Dick­son

For the next four years, Cal­i­for­nia’s pub­lic hos­pi­tals will col­lec­tively re­ceive up to $472 mil­lion an­nu­ally to cover hos­pi­tal vis­its for the unin­sured as part of a waiver meant to re­form the state’s Med­i­caid pro­gram.

State of­fi­cials were in­formed ear­lier this month of the de­ci­sion, which had seemed un­likely since the CMS had been re­luc­tant to pay for the unin­sured now that the Af­ford­able Care Act has pro­vided cov­er­age to more Amer­i­cans.

Cal­i­for­nia had to make its case for keep­ing the fund­ing. In 2014, the state ex­panded Med­i­caid to peo­ple who made 138% of the fed­eral poverty level. That cov­ered an ad­di­tional 3 mil­lion peo­ple.

But an in­de­pen­dent anal­y­sis found that at al­most 4 mil­lion peo­ple, Cal­i­for­nia has the sec­ond-largest unin­sured pop­u­la­tion in the U.S.

The group com­prises peo­ple who may be el­i­gi­ble for Med­i­caid but don’t know it, which in­cludes un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants and those who can’t af­ford mar­ket­place cov­er­age, even with sub­si­dies.

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