Effect of Budget Stalemate on Hospitals

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The State Department of Healthcare Services says it won’t be able to make 227 million dollars in payments to some Medi-Cal providers this week – unless a budget is passed almost immediately.  Jan Emerson with the California Hospital Association says some of her members are worried about paying doctors and nurses – and continuing to buy supplies. 

“For example, their supply of pharmaceuticals – maybe they’re going to run  out of pharmaceuticals, and that wouldn’t affect just a Medi-Cal patient – that could affect any patient.”

The institutions impacted include those which provide care for Californians enrolled in Medi-Cal, the state’s low-income healthcare program.   The state had a contingency fund that made payments throughout the month of July, but that has now run out.  Some other providers – including pharmacies - will continue to receive payment, regardless of the budget situation. 
Lawmakers continue to meet to try to work out a budget.  A spending plan is now a month overdue.