SPOTLIGHT: Cancer care docs face financial crisis

A group of doctors who, since 1991, have traditionally cared for poor cancer cases in California's Santa Barbara County, are still feeling lucky. They barely survived a billing dispute with the state's Medicaid program, Medi-Cal, after finding that they very nearly wouldn't get their bills paid in time to survive. The billing dispute involved a huge stack of bills unpaid by the Santa Barbara Regional Health Authority, billing intermediary for Medi-Cal for this part of the state. The Santa Barbara Hematology and Oncology Medical Group got through the problem, but the group nearly ended up having to stop taking new Medi-Cal patients. Sadly, yet another chapter in the tortuous relationship between commercial medicine and Medicaid. Article

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