Extra resources for students of State and Local Government 180, an upper-division GE class in the Government Department at Sacramento State University
Friday, September 30, 2011
Sacramento Bee: Judge rules county to repay indigent care hospital costs
Judge rules Sacramento County must pay hospital care for indigent residents
By Loretta Kalb The Sacramento Bee
Published: Thursday, Sep. 29, 2011 - 5:34 pm
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A judge has ruled that Sacramento County must pay the for medical care the UC Davis Medical Center provided to indigent county residents since mid-2008, costs estimated so far at tens of millions of dollars.
The ruling by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lloyd Connelly, issued Monday and announced by the UC Davis Health System today, caps years of conflict over the county's decision to stop reimbursing for care given patients under the county's Medically Indigent Services Program.
David Levine, counsel for the UC Davis Health System, said today he was pleased with Connelly's ruling, which clears the way for further proceedings on the actual amounts owed.
"I think it (the ruling) is justified," Levine said, "and I think the court made the right rulings in almost every respect in our favor."
Judge Connelly's action reinforces a July 2010 ruling. In that instance, the court invalidated the county's policy of denying benefits for emergency services in the absence of a county contract with the hospital.
The University of California Board of Regents filed suit in 2009 challenging the county's failure to pay for indigent care since July 1, 2008.
"We are, and always have been willing to work with UC Davis to resolve the outstanding issues, and this ruling does not change that," said Sacramento County Executive Brad Hudson. "It's unfortunate that an arm of state chose to sue Sacramento County for the cost of providing indigent health care services at UC Davis, when ironically the state has grossly underfunded this program at the county level."