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Underserved Communities Call Out UC Davis for Rejecting Medi-Cal

SACRAMENTO -- UC Davis Health is under fire from local communities who say the academic health centers under its umbrella are refusing to provide primary care to Medi-Cal beneficiaries.

The Health Equity Action Team claims that many within the 15 underserved communities directly surrounding the UC Davis Health campus only have access to the centers' emergency departments.

Those in attendance at Monday's press conference led by community representatives say the university health system should serve the community since it is supported by taxpayers.

Dr. Richard Pan, representing the 6th Senate District, voiced his concerns for his district's residents at the conference. Pan, who was once a university faculty member, says UC Davis Health has not been coming up with good enough reasons for denying Medi-Cal patients.

A billboard was put above Sutterville Road and Franklin Boulevard that reflects the team's call to action, with hopes that UC Davis leadership will take notice.

UC Davis Health Systems fired back, saying they treat their fair share of Medi-Cal patients -- which make up about 37,000 UC Davis Medical Center admissions, along with 100,000 out-patient Medi-Cal visit. They say it's part of their mission to treat poor and underserved patients.

Community groups, however, say that emergency room and specialized treatment don't make up for the lack of primary services.