Southern Inyo Hospital and Skilled Nursing Facility officials have waited nervously to see if Sacramento legislators will save them from disastrous Medi-Cal reimbursement cuts. A report from the California Hospital Association indicates there is hope.
According to CHA, Assembly Bill 900 passed out of the Senate Health Committee with wide bi-partisan support and will next be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee. Officials said the current version of the bill restores reimbursement rates going forward but does not provide relief for paying retroactive funds.
Many, including Southern Inyo Hospital, do remain concerned about having to pay retroactive amounts. Southern Inyo would owe $1.5 million. The cut of reimbursement would take 46% of Medi-Cal payments away from the Skilled Nursing Facility. All of these attacks on funds could lead to the closure of the hospital itself.
Southern Inyo Hospital Administrator Lee Baron had said earlier that this would also displace the elderly and frail. Hospital officials have been working on contingency plans. Barron has made many trips to Sacramento to fight for the hospital facilities.
A lawsuit against the Medi-Cal cuts reductions had stalled the cuts. AB 900 then came forward to help with the situation. Barron had said that this whole thing would hurt the local economy, health care and much more. She pointed out that State government finances are much better now than they were when AB97 was passed to cut Medi-Cal reimbursements.
The California Hospital Association also said that they understand the Department of Health and Human Services has agreed to delay the cuts until after the close of the legislative session in September.