Auditing the Medi-Cal mess

State committee orders audit regarding Medi-Cal beneficiary access issues

A state legislative committee recently ordered an audit to gauge whether California is providing Medi-Cal beneficiaries adequate access to care.

About 20 percent of California’s residents—more than 7 million people—are currently on a Medi-Cal managed care plan, and there’s a backlog of 400,000 pending applications, according to California Healthline. However, continual cuts to reimbursement rates for health care providers have limited the number of Medi-Cal patients physicians are able to accept, leading to health care access issues statewide.

State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) requested the audit after his office received “several alarming reports” about Medi-Cal beneficiaries’ difficulty accessing care.

Specifically, the audit will look into whether the program’s managed care directories include a sufficient number of physicians who are accepting new patients.