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Marian Regional Medical Center, French Hospital Receive $11.8 Million in Enhanced Health Care Payments

Nov 7, 2019

CenCal Health and Dignity Health Partner to Strengthen Public Safety Net

On October 24, the CEO of CenCal Health hand-delivered a check for $10.5 million dollars to Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria for payment of medical services rendered to Medi-Cal patients on the Central Coast. French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo received a $1.3 million dollar payment. Both of these Dignity Health hospitals participated with CenCal Health in a Medi-Cal-sponsored hospital incentive program that increases medical services to the most vulnerable in the community such as children from low-income families, the disabled, and the elderly.

“We are so grateful for these funds and how they help enable us to provide outstanding care to all in our community,” said Sue Andersen, President and CEO of Marian Regional Medical Center. “We have a great partnership with CenCal Health and look forward to more collaboration on patient care for the future.”

Medi-Cal, a state and federal program, provides health coverage for no-fee or low-fee to those who would otherwise not be able to afford even basic health care. CenCal Health is the local Medi-Cal managed care plan that contracts with providers in the community – hospitals, clinics, physicians and others – for quality medical services for its health plan members. The Hospital Directed Payment Program, authorized and funded by the federal government and implemented locally by CenCal Health, provides enhanced reimbursement to participating network hospitals when providing eligible contract services to Medi-Cal enrollees.

“This financial incentive helps open more doors to health services for our local plan members,” said CenCal Health’s CEO Bob Freeman. “It also supports the health providers and the exceptional care they deliver to their patients. It’s a win-win for the community.”

According to California’s Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), the goal of the Hospital Directed Payment Program is to promote a system of managed care that is focused on providing quality and access to preventive care and medically necessary services, moving away from a model in which payment is based on the volume of services provided. By aligning financial incentives, DHCS helps reduce the unnecessary use of high-cost services such as hospital stays. It also increases participation by health care providers which is a benefit to Medi-Cal enrollees.

About CenCal Health

CenCal Health’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of the communities we serve by providing access to high quality health services, along with education and outreach, for our membership. As a public entity, CenCal Health is a community-accountable health plan partnering with over 1,500 local physicians, hospitals and other providers in delivering exceptional patient care to more than 175,000 members – about one in four residents of Santa Barbara County and one in five residents of San Luis Obispo County. Established in 1983, it is the oldest managed Medicaid plan of its kind in the nation. CenCal Health employs close to 250 people at offices in both Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, and contributes approximately $50 million a month into the local economy, primarily through payments to healthcare providers who serve our membership.

About Dignity Health Central Coast

Dignity Health Central Coast is comprised of five award-winning hospitals, all recognized for their quality of care, safety and service, primary care offices, premier ambulatory surgery centers, technologically advanced imaging centers, outpatient services, and comprehensive home health services. Hospitals in the Dignity Health Central Coast region include Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in Arroyo Grande, French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo, and St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard. Each hospital is supported by an active philanthropic Foundation to provide additional funding to support new programs and services, as well as to advance the community’s access to health care. For more information, visit

CenCal Health Contact: Nicolette Worley Marselian (805) 685-9525 ext.1993  |

Media Contact: Sheri Mobley (805) 845-5627, (213) 509-9816  |