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Sutter shifting 10,000 Medi-Cal patients to FQHCs

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The Sacramento Bee reports  that  Sutter Medical Group is shifting about 10,000 adult Medi-Cal {the state Medicaid program} enrollees with Anthem Blue Cross  to primary-care physicians at Federally Qualified Health Centers.

Ken Ashley, M.D., the medical director for primary care at Sutter Medical Group, asserts that  the change in providers will give the patients  access to more services.

“Some of the things that the (community health centers) can provide with the funding that they are receiving are things that sometimes we struggle to find for our Medi-Cal patients, things like optometry and dental, behavioral medicine,” Dr. Ashley told The Bee. “I feel like these patients are finally going to receive things I could not provide as their primary-care doctor. I’m OK with our partners helping to take care of these patients.”

He noted that the huge increase in the number of new patients as a result of the Affordable Care Act   has put great pressure on many providers as they seek to make appointments available. Meanwhile, the ACA has made more resources available to FQHCs.

Sutter, Dignity Health, the University of California at Davis and other providers have  contributed funding and expertise to expand the network of the FQHCs, the newspaper reported.

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