California has one of the lowest acceptance rates for new Medi-Cal patients

April 06, 2015
Area(s) of Interest: Access to Care Advocacy 

A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that, in 2013, only 54 percent of California physicians accepted new Medi-Cal patients, a rate that is significantly lower than the national average of 68.9 percent. California has the second-lowest physician acceptance rate of new Medi-Cal patients, with New Jersey coming in last with 2013 acceptance rates of 38.7 percent.

The report compared physician acceptance of new patients across payors, mainly focusing on Medicare and private insurance. The CDC found that the national average of physicians who accepted new Medicare patients was 83.7 percent, with 84.7 percent for private insurance. California physicians accept new Medicare and private insurance patients at 77.2 percent and 76.6 percent, respectively.

The California Medical Association continues to work with the We Care for California coalition to increase Medi-Cal provider reimbursement rates in an effort to ensure Californians have appropriate access to care. We Care for California has recently worked with legislators to introduce AB 366 and SB 243, legislation that would not only restore a 10 percent cut to Medi-Cal reimbursement rates, but would also place reimbursement on par with Medicare, increasing payment rates for inpatient hospital services and most outpatient services. The proposals would also require the Department of Health Care Services to pay Medi-Cal managed care plans at the upper end of the rate range, so as to ensure a more robust Medi-Cal provider network.

To read the entire report, click here.


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