Eleven health plans were chosen Tuesday to provide services to about 130,000 Medi-Cal recipients in San Diego County as part of a state program designed to save millions of dollars in health care.
The California Medical Assistance Commission, a seven-member panel established to oversee the program, chose the plans from among 15 hospitals, insurance companies and health plans that applied to become providers under the new "Expanded Choice" program, which health officials hope will save the state about $8 million during its first year.
Under the program, the state will pay health maintenance organizations a monthly fee for each Medi-Cal recipient's medical care, instead of reimbursing doctors, pharmacists and other providers for their services. The state Department of Health Services is scheduled to take a final vote on the contracts Jan. 21.
Critics of the program have charged that the plan will reduce the quality of health care for Medi-Cal recipients and disrupt longstanding doctor-patient relationships.
The health plans chosen to participate are the Community Health Group, the Greater San Diego Health Plan, Grossmont Health Plan, Kaiser Health Plan, Mercy Health Plan, North East San Diego Health Plan, Protective Health providers, Roos-Loos Health Plan, Securecare, UCSD Health Plan, and United Health Plan.