California Healthline: Fragile, Rural Population About To Be Moved Into Medi-Cal Managed Care

by David Gorn

Next month, state health officials will launch a transition of rural Medi-Cal beneficiaries into Medi-Cal managed care health plans.

Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program.

The transition involves about 20,000 of the most frail and elderly segment of the rural Medi-Cal population — seniors and persons with disabilities, known as SPDs.

“Most of them have a disability or high levels of functional impairment,” said Carrie Graham, assistant director of research at UC-Berkeley’s Health Research for Action. “They have multiple chronic conditions, they need a lot of specialty care, they have a lot of prescriptions, they need medical equipment and supplies.”

They’re people who are on a precarious medical ledge — poor people with big medical needs, no Medicare benefits and a whisper-thin web of cobbled-together providers and services. It’s the type of population that has a hard time with transitions, Graham said.

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  • LAAAC is managed by St. Barnabas Senior Services; Funded, in part, by Archstone Foundation.
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