Mee Memorial Healthcare System
Mee Memorial Healthcare System includes Mee Memorial Hospital in King City. (Contributed)

KING CITY — Mee Memorial Healthcare System is standing with the rural communities of Monterey County in strong support of Senate Bill 1423. 

This crucial bill proposes vital changes to the Medi-Cal program that will significantly impact critical access hospitals (CAHs) and their ability to serve rural Californians effectively.

Across California, 37 CAHs tirelessly provide essential medical services to rural communities. Despite their pivotal role, these hospitals face financial challenges due to inadequate reimbursement rates for outpatient services under the current Medi-Cal structure, which fails to cover the actual costs of care. SB 1423 aims to rectify this imbalance, ensuring these hospitals can maintain necessary healthcare services and accessibility.

“SB 1423 is not just legislation; it’s a lifeline for rural healthcare providers and their patients,” said Rena Salamacha, CEO of Mee Memorial. “It ensures we can continue delivering high-quality care right where it’s needed, preventing our residents from having to travel extensive distances for essential services.”

The bill, which boasts bipartisan support, has successfully passed the Senate Health Committee and now progresses to the Appropriations Committee. It seeks to revise the funding model to ensure that rural hospitals like Mee Memorial can sustain operations and continue to provide comprehensive healthcare services — from emergency and acute care to rehabilitative and diagnostic services.

Dr. Bruce Greenberg, a leading physician at Mee Memorial, emphasized the broader benefits of the bill: “By supporting SB 1423, we are not only advocating for the sustainability of rural hospitals but also for the health security of our community. This is about keeping essential healthcare services local and effective. We urge everyone to reach out to their legislators, express their support for SB 1423, and help us ensure that rural healthcare thrives.”

To aid in the passage of SB 1423 and advocate for equitable healthcare in rural areas, residents can contact their local legislator’s office to express support for the bill and emphasize the importance of accessible healthcare within their community.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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