California Healthline: New Law To Shorten Medi-Cal Application Process for Community Clinic Startups

by David Gorn

his week, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill to shorten the amount of time to process applications for primary care community clinics that want to serve Medi-Cal patients.

AB 2051 by Assembly member Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) will give the state Department of Health Care Services 30 days to certify community clinics providing Medi-Cal service, rather than the current open-ended deadline that Gonzalez said has sometimes exceeded 180 days.

“When you spend time and money building a community clinic and you get it all built and ready to go, it’s pointless if you then can’t see any Medi-Cal patients,” Gonzalez said. “You put a lot of money into building a facility, the timeline needs to be shorter for approving Medi-Cal participation.”

Gonzalez said it has been a problem not only for community clinics, but also for some Planned Parenthood clinics, she said.

“Especially with a district like mine where we have so many Medi-Cal patients who need services,” Gonzalez said.

Waiting for certification also can cause a financial strain on community clinics, she added.

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