California patients need more access to healthcare








March 23, 2023

Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC) today announced unprecedented demand for CalHealthCares, a program aimed at addressing the lack of access to care for Medi-Cal patients.

The most recent application deadline, which just closed on March 17, had a $63 million bucket of funding for providers to apply for. However, over $200 million has been requested or claimed by providers. This is more than three times his available amount.

Lupe Alonzo-Diaz, President and CEO of PHC, said: “The good news is that physicians in these programs will help fill the physician shortages that much of California is experiencing, which the Inland Empire and Central Valley are feeling most acutely. Access will increase.The bad news is we don’t have enough funding to offer opportunities to many qualified providers.”

PHC administers two important programs funded by the Proposition 56 Tobacco Tax Fund that work to improve access to care in California.

cal health care Provides loan repayment of doctor and dentist education debt in exchange for a five-year commitment to provide care to Medi-Cal patients. March 17th is the deadline for Round 5 of the CalHealthCare Awards. PHC will announce details of this application cycle. This shows the overwhelming amount of student loan debt held by doctors and dentists.

Calmed Forceis operated by PHC in partnership with the University of California to increase the number of residency slots available in underserved California communities. A single primary care resident can make approximately 600 patient visits per year, so each slot is critical to a physician-shortage community.

In the San Joaquin Valley and the Inland Empire, the two regions with the lowest physician-to-population ratios in the state, CalMedForce funds 252 and 284 permanent residents, respectively.

Central Valley and Inland Empire graduate medical education administrators, medical faculty and health care providers said of the program:

“While the Inland Empire is already struggling with a shortage of healthcare providers, recent population growth has created even greater demand, especially for patients who rely on Medi-Cal. Having well-trained doctors who can hone their skills will help meet that demand.”

Dr. Kevin ShannonChief Academic Officer, San Bernardino County Social Action Community (SAC) Health System

“The San Joaquin Valley has the lowest doctor-to-population ratio in the state and is projected to get worse. Physicians who have completed their degree often remain in California.”

Dr. Olga MieveCEO of Clinica Sierra Vista and the Rio Bravo Family Medicine Residency Program in Kern County

“The combination of high student loan debt and low Medi-Cal reimbursement rates is too often a barrier for graduating medical students seeking treatment for Medi-Cal beneficiaries. Thanks to the CalHealthCares program, I was able to serve Medi-Cal patients, who often have the most complex and urgent health needs in my local community, so that more doctors could treat this growing population. This will alleviate many of the problems associated with Medi-Cal, such as long wait times, lack of access, and lack of access to specialists.”

Dr. Ninos AdamsPsychiatrist, CalHealthCares Recipient

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