American health care stands in the crossroads of epic change, and Medicaid is right at the center of it all. Medicaid funds about two-thirds of all mental health care in the United States. The program has grown enormously since its inception in 1965. And its growth is about to explode. In January 2014, a major provision of the The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare” will expand the Medicaid roles by 25% almost overnight, while doing nearly nothing effective to increase the number of providers serving Medicaid patients. For loved ones with psychiatric disabilities whose health care is funded by Medicaid and their families , this expansion has enormous implications.
Given the importance of Medicaid’s changes in shaping the future of American behavioral health care, PsychOdyssey is pleased to create a new page in its “Research…” section specifically dedicated to Medicaid. Here’s an example of a resource just posted today to our new Medicaid page:
Los Angeles Times, June 11, 2013
In a office decorated with Chinese art and diagrams of body parts, Dr. George Ma cares for more than 4,000 patients.Nearly three-quarters are covered by Medi-Cal, the state’s public insurance program for low-income Californians, and Ma said he receives $10 a month to treat most of them.This summer, when California makes a controversial 10% cut to Medi-Cal rates, he could get paid less. Ma said he didn’t go into safety net medicine for the money, but he worries that the reductions will make it even harder for his patients to get medication, medical equipment and appointments with specialists.
The reductions to providers like Ma will also create a massive glitch in the implementation of national healthcare reform — the cuts to Medi-Cal rates are to occur just as more people prepare to join the program under the Affordable Care Act. Currently 8.3 million poor Californians are covered by Medi-Cal, and more than 1 million new enrollees are expected beginning next year. [Read more…]
We warmly invite all our readers to stay on top of the all-critical evolution of Medicaid’s changes. We hope our Medicaid postings will help in this regard. Please frequently visit PsychOdyssey’s new “Research… Medicaid” page here.