Southern Inyo HospitalAfter months of worry and intense lobbying, the State Department of Health Care Services has made public the fact that they will exempt facilities like the Southern Inyo Hospital Skilled Nursing Facility from their 10% reduction of payments. Southern Inyo Hospital officials had said early on that this reduction would close the nursing facility and likely the hospital. Now, that won’t happen.

In an announcement on implementation of Assembly Bill 97, the Department of Health says, “In order to preserve and protect access to care for Medi-Cal members, the Department of Health is also announcing provider payment reduction exemptions….” Skilled Nursing facilities like Southern Inyo’s qualify for the exemption from the 10% cuts in payment now and in the past.

Southern Inyo Hospital Administrator Lee Barron had gone to work with a fury to join with other officials to lobby against the cuts, which would have been disastrous for Southern Inyo communities.

Officials had earlier said that the Med-Cal cuts would mean a loss of around $900,000 per year for Southern Inyo Hospital and its Skilled Nursing Facility plus a retroactive pay back to the State of $1.5 million. The change of heart by State Health will exempt Southern Inyo from these devastating cuts.

Administrator Barron, other hospital officials from around the state and the California Hospital Association fought hard against AB97 and its Medi-Cal cuts.  Administrator Barron’s comment to the public: “The intense lobbying effort put forth by California Hospital Association’s President Duane Dauner and his team along with all of our letters from the communities, staff, and residents and the information that was shared with each legislative representative across the state was incredible. The grassroots process has proven to be VERY EFFECTIVE. Thanks for all of your support.”

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