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Smyth cuts red tape for local health center

Posted: September 13, 2011 5:27 p.m.
Updated: September 13, 2011 5:27 p.m.
 


By cutting through red tape in the state's capital, Santa Clarita Valley Assemblyman Cameron Smyth and his team enabled a local medical agency to recoup more than $100,000 from the state's Medi-Cal program, officials said Tuesday.

Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers Inc., with an office on West Avenue Stanford, had tried unsuccessfully to get state officials to correct a funding error for its clinic in Val Verde.

The health center discovered it had been under-billing the state for services provided and was entitled to receive at least $100,000 more than it had actually billed, said Christine Ward, a field representative in Smyth's office.

"They were having some issues retrieving that money," Ward said Tuesday. "They had just completed the process of being named a rural health center, which allowed them to bill for more funding."

In April 2010, the health center's clinic in Val Verde was approved as a rural center, thereby entitling it to a higher rate of billing.

In June, Ward and Smyth's office intervened on the center's behalf and, through their efforts, helped recoup the money owed to the health center by the state Medi-Cal Office.

"What we did was make sure everyone was on the same page, so that they could get paid accordingly," Ward said.
Smyth described the efforts of his office as "cutting through red tape."

"We really pride ourselves on being accessible," he said Tuesday, crediting Ward with having done "all the heavy lifting."

"People sometimes forget that legislative offices do so much more than deal with policy issues," he said.

Samuel Dixon, which began in 1980, operates two other health centers in the Santa Clarita Valley in addition to the one in Val Verde: the Canyon Country Health Center and the Newhall Health Center.

 

 

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