California Healthline: Assembly Health Committee Chair Rips DHCS for Lack of Cooperation, Poor Care

by David Gorn

The chair of the Assembly Committee on Health yesterday detailed two years’ worth of frustration and exasperation with the handling of asthma and allergy care by the Department of Health Care Services.

“This hearing is being held to see if the rules and restrictions in Medi-Cal interfere with providing quality care,” said Assembly member Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), chair of Assembly Health and a pediatrician. “There are concerns that some of the payment policies have limited patients’ access to care and that Medi-Cal has not been responsive enough to evidence of inappropriate utilization controls.”

Pan said he has tried for two years to get answers from DHCS officials, including director Toby Douglas, about why certain policies are in place that limit care of asthma and allergy patients in Medi-Cal.

“I’ve been quite disappointed and frustrated in my interactions with the Department of Health Care Services over the past two years,” Pan said. “I am concerned that many Medi-Cal patients are not able to receive quality asthma care.”

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