March 18, 2018
Area(s) of Interest: Access to Care Advocacy
The University of California, San Francisco recently released a report that provides recommendations for a sustainable health care system to achieve universal access in California. The report was commissioned by the California State Assembly, and summarizes the information that emerged from six hearings of the Assembly Select Committee on Health Care Delivery Systems and Universal Coverage held between October 2017 and February 2018.
The report highlights that any successful path to universal health care must include measures to improve access to care by expanding Medi-Cal coverage for income eligible undocumented adults, increasing Medi-Cal payment rates and overcoming workforce shortages to meet the needs of rural and underserved communities. The report also found that any plan that does not address the issues of physician workforce and increasing Medi-Cal payment rates will ultimately fail to achieve the goal of universal access.
“[The] report illustrates that despite the progress California has made in increasing the number of individuals with reported health insurance coverage, there are still significant barriers to achieving actual access to universal health care in California,” said California Medical Association (CMA) President Theodore M. Mazer, M.D. “We agree that to improve patient access to care, we must overcome the physician shortages communities are facing and increase Medi-Cal reimbursement rates, which are amongst the lowest in the country. CMA remains committed to working on comprehensive and realistic solutions that achieve universal access.”