KHN senior correspondent Angela Hart appeared on Spectrum News 1’s “Los Angeles Times Today” on Nov. 29 to discuss her reporting on California’s pricey and ambitious experiment to transform its Medicaid program, called Medi-Cal.
The initiative, known as CalAIM, will provide some of Medi-Cal’s sickest and costliest patients with social services such as home-delivered healthy meals, help with housing move-in costs, and home repairs to make living environments safer for people with asthma.
But, as Hart noted, the reforms leave many patients behind. Hart spent time at MLK Community Hospital in South Los Angeles, where patients, health consumer advocates, and hospital executives told her that care hasn’t improved for the majority of patients, who don’t receive the new social services. They also told her that low reimbursement rates for doctors and other providers have created a “separate and unequal” system of care in a community that has disproportionately high rates of devastating chronic conditions like diabetes, liver disease, and high blood pressure.