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Family Doctors for the Poor May Get a Pay Raise

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Dr. Jim Hay is a family doctor and President of the California Medical Association.
He says a pay increase could change doctors' minds about treating a patient in the Medi-Cal system.
He says current primary care visits may be reimbursed for as low as eleven dollars.

HAY: "For most primary physicians like me, it probably costs us anywhere from 40 to 50 dollars per visit to see the patient, and that's before we pay ourselves. That's just for rent, staff, malpractice insurance, and so forth."

As part of the Affordable Care Act, the federal government proposes to pay primary care doctors who see Medi-Cal patients the same rate they would receive for seeing Medicare patients.

HAY: "This will improve the access for care for many Medi-Cal patients and there's going to be another three million patients com[ing] onto the Medi-Cal rolls because of the Affordable Care Act."

States are not obligated to contribute to the increase - which is proposed for two years starting in 2013.
Dr. Hay says the state's budget outlook leaves him concerned about sustaining that pay level after 2014.
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