HEADLINES : California
State delays in Medi-Cal reimbursements could mean $15M loss to Los Angeles Fire Department
Delays by the state in implementing higher Medi-Cal reimbursements could cost the Los Angeles Fire Department $15 million this year in both lost revenue and productivity gains, city officials were told Wednesday.
City Controller Wendy Greuel, who is running for mayor, issued the warning in an audit urging the city to begin planning for the loss of the money. Greuel said the problem came from the state, which has been slow to develop the guidelines for AB 678 to increase the payments for ambulance services to patients receiving federal assistance.
Los Angeles city officials had included the new revenue in their budgeting for this year and Greuel said adjustments should be made in the LAFD budget to reflect the loss. Also, she said, the City Council will need to make adjustments to cover the lost funding. In addition, Greuel said the city's contract with Advanced Data Processing Inc., used to manage billings and collect on past debts, needs to be amended to make sure the firm does not get any of the Medi-Cal revenue. The firm now receives 5.5 percent of debts on which it collects.