California Healthline: Judge Rules on Medi-Cal Backlog Suit, Orders State To Adhere to 45-Day Deadline
On Thursday, an Alameda County Superior Court judge issued a preliminary injunction requiring the state to adhere to a 45-day limit for processing Medi-Cal applications.
The ruling by Judge Evelio Grillo was a victory for health care advocates in a lawsuit over the state’s extensive backlog in processing Medi-Cal applications. The Medi-Cal expansion and the first open enrollment period for Covered California brought millions of applications to the door of the Department of Health Care Services, which oversees Medi-Cal.
Computer issues hampered the processing of many of those applications, and in March 2014 the backlog of unprocessed claims peaked at more than 900,000 applications. It took many months to clear the bulk of those applications. Some of them are still hanging fire almost a year later, said Jen Flory, senior attorney in the Sacramento office of the Western Center on Law and Poverty.