State budget freeze squeezes California providers

A budget impasse in the California legislature has tied up a major chunk of cash, putting reimbursement for a wide range of facilities on hold for the time being. While providers like physicians, nurses and pharmacists that directly bill the state's Medi-Cal program are getting paid, hospitals, nursing homes, managed care plans, clinics and regional centers won't until the budget issue is resolved.

State controller John Chiang is being forced to withhold about $1.1 billion from a group including healthcare facilities and a range of organizations offering social services. That's because the state doesn't have a budget in place yet, which ties Chiang's hands legally. The state will be unable to pay $227 million owed to hospitals this week, and things may get worse if the budget issue isn't resolved.

To learn more about the budget issue:
- read this Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal piece

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