California providers get $1B in payments, finally

California providers were beginning to feel a serious pinch--and some smaller ones were facing dissolution--thanks to a state budget debate that held up $1 billion in payments. Now, the state has resolved its budget issues, and providers will get the Medi-Cal payments they'd missed within the next couple of days.

However, providers won't be reimbursed for the costs they incurred while they were waiting out foot-dragging in the state legislature. Many were forced to take out expensive loans while they waited for payments, but the state doesn't have plans to reimburse providers for interest expenses.

In the past, providers didn't end up in this type of crunch, because the state had a $1 billion fund in place to make provider payments during budget stalemates. But this year, the fund was basically empty as of late July, so many providers were just out of luck.

To learn more about the state's funding issues:
- read this San Francisco Business Times piece

Related Articles:
State budget freeze squeezes California providers. Report
Calif. budget freeze endangers small providers. Report