What if you couldn’t get necessary surgery because there was no way to see a doctor who could recommend it? San Diegan Jeeni Criscenzo is facing that problem just because she’s covered by Medi-Cal.
When Jeeni enrolled in Medi-Cal and was given a list of healthcare providers, there were only six doctors listed within 25 miles of her. And when Jeeni called, none of them were accepting new Medi-Cal patients.
When Jeeni went to an urgent care clinic to be seen for a foot infection, she told the doctor about long-term pain in her knee from a previous broken bone. The doctor told Jeeni that her body was rejecting the screws that had repaired her bone, and they would need to be removed.
But when Jeeni asked him for a referral to a surgeon, he told her only a primary care doctor could give her one. With no way to access a primary care physician in her area, Jeeni has no choice but to live with the pain in her knee.
Low Medi-Cal reimbursement rates mean few healthcare providers can afford to accept new Medi-Cal patients. That means people like Jeeni can’t get care for serious health complications.