CHA News

CHA Releases Special Report on Impact of Medi-Cal Cuts on Beneficiary Access to Hospital-Based SNFs; CHA Meets With CMS

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CHA has released a Special Report analyzing the effects of the proposed Medi-Cal cuts included in the Budget Act of 2011, signed by Governor Brown earlier this year, on patient access to hospital-based skilled-nursing-facilities (SNFs).

CHA presented the Special Report during a conference call with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) officials Diane Heffron, director, and Kristin Fan, deputy director, from the CMS Office of Financial Management.

According to the report, which includes research data from Avalere Health, the Medi-Cal cuts will have a devastating impact on beneficiary access to hospital-based SNF care, and, in some cases, will limit access to hospital, home health and other services.

Current Medi-Cal rates do not cover the costs of the specialized care these facilities provide. As a result, most hospital-based SNFs currently operate at a loss. If the proposed Medi-Cal reductions go forward, the financial viability of hospital-based SNFs will be further weakened, and providers will be put in the difficult position of deciding which services, beds or units to reduce or eliminate.

Combined with other cuts to state programs, the proposed reductions will jeopardize not only hospital-based SNFs, but their affiliated hospitals. The resulting lack of access, particularly in rural areas, will be devastating for Medi-Cal beneficiaries.

The CHA Special Report is attached.