Contact California State Assembly Appropriations Committee members today and ask them to oppose AB 3087

CAL/AAEM News Service calaaem.news.service at gmail.com
Tue May 15 12:30:09 PDT 2018



 

May 15, 2018

 

Contact State Assembly Appropriations Committee members and ask them to
oppose AB 3087 

 

Tomorrow Wednesday, May 16, the California Assembly Appropriations Committee
will be considering AB 3087 (Kalra), which would create a commission of
unelected political appointees empowered to arbitrarily cap rates for all
health care services in all clinics, hospitals, and physician practices in
California. By unilaterally setting the price for all medical services, the
bill would essentially eliminate the commercial health care market in
California. Tell your legislator to vote no on this dangerous, irresponsible
piece of legislation. We need your help to take a stand and defeat physician
rate setting in California! AB 3087 (Kalra) would jeopardize the historic
health coverage and access gains made in California since passage of the
Affordable Care Act. No state in America has ever attempted such an unproven
policy; California would be the only state to implement
government-sanctioned rate setting. The bill is a poorly conceived,
unprecedented threat to patient access to health care that goes against the
Assembly's own expert recommendations on how to achieve universal access. AB
3087 would be devastating to the emergency care safety net for all
Californians. 

The below letter was sent on May 3rd to all California State Assembly
Appropriations Committee members by CAL/AAEM.

--------------------------------------- 

Dear Assembly Member,

 

On behalf of the more than 500 state members of the American Academy of
Emergency Medicine - California Chapter Division (CAL/AAEM), we are opposed
to AB 3087 by Assembly Member Kalra. 

 

We believe AB 3087 is a threat to patients and healthcare delivery in
California. California has made gains since the implementation of the ACA
dramatically reducing its uninsured rate primarily through the expansion of
Medi-Cal. If AB 3087 is enacted, California would have the largest Medicaid
program both by sheer numbers and percentage of the state's residents
enrolled within it. The program has nearly doubled in size since 2009 and
now serves about 1/3 of the state's population. California's Medi-Cal
provider rates are among the lowest in the nation and Medi-Cal pays about
60% of what Medicare would pay for the same physician service.  These low
rates limit the volume of Medi-Cal patients physicians can see and AB 3087
would further exacerbate this problem as the state now would now lower
commercial rates while doing nothing to improve access within Medi-Cal. A
solution to healthcare costs that does not include addressing Medi-Cal
provider rates is no solution at all.

 

Current payment amounts by commercial insurance payers are critical to the
emergency care safety net. Commercial insurance payments are the only funds
that offset losses incurred by treating patients on Medi-Cal and those who
are uninsured. Medi-Cal reimbursement is abysmally low at 48th in the
nation, and 1/3 of Californians are on Medi-Cal. Emergency physicians
relying on the payments from 36 percent of the patients they treat to make
up for the loss in payments from the rest of the patients they care for.
Unlike other physicians who can decide to cap the number of Medi-Cal,
Medicare, or uninsured patients they choose to treat when it no longer
becomes financially viable, emergency physicians must treat every patient. A
cut in payment from commercial payers, cannot be absorbed elsewhere and,
therefore, means cuts to staffing in emergency departments. Cuts in payments
to EDs will result in longer wait times and dangerous health outcomes.

 

The Assembly recently held a series of hearings through the Select Committee
on Health Care Delivery Systems and Universal Coverage which resulted in the
commission of report by the University of California, San Francisco titled
"A Path to  Universal Coverage and Unified Health Care Financing in
California." Two of the policy recommendations from that report were to: 1)
increase Medi-Cal provider rates to increase access in the system; and 2)
develop a comprehensive strategy to ensure a robust physician workforce. AB
3087 flies in the face of these recommendations because it will reduce
access in the Medi-Cal system and make California an extremely unattractive
state in which to practice medicine. This will drive physicians out of the
state and make it extremely difficult to recruit the next generation to come
and practice here. 

 

We respectfully request your NO vote on AB 3087. If you have any questions,
please do not hesitate to contact our CAL/AAEM office at (800) 884-2236 or
info at aaem.org <mailto:info at aaem.org> .

 

Sincerely,



John Christensen, MD FAAEM 

President, CAL/AAEM

 



Brian Potts, MD MBA FAAEM

Past President, CAL/AAEM

 

 

Jeff Wells
Deputy Editor, CAL/AAEM News Service

 

Brian Potts MD, MBA
Managing Editor, CAL/AAEM News Service

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