Skip to main content

As a public institution, we provide exceptional care to all Californians. And, we actively seek ways to expand our reach to those who need it most by improving access to health care

UC’s health locations and providers are proud to serve as an essential part of California’s health care safety net system, providing high quality care to those in need regardless of whether individuals are insured or the type of health insurance they have. 

Each year, University of California Health (UCH) hospitals have thousands of inpatient admissions and millions of outpatient visits. Across UCH in our fiscal year 2020-2021, 34 percent of inpatient days (days where patients were in the hospital) were associated with Medi-Cal.

Did You Know?

Together, UC’s academic health centers are the second-largest provider of Medi-Cal hospital services by most measures, despite operating less than 6 percent of the non-federal, short-term, acute care hospital beds in California  

Medi-Cal Payors Graph
Systemwide Economic, Fiscal, and Social Impact Analysis, January 2021

Reimbursement Differs Across Payors  

University of California Health academic health centers are almost entirely self-supporting, relying on reimbursements from governmental and commercial payors. The majority of revenue comes from patients with contracted health insurance.  

In our fiscal year 2020-2021, just over 16 percent ($2.4 billion) of UC hospital revenue came from care provided to Medi-Cal enrollees, who represented 34 percent of inpatient days. Costs associated with Medi-Cal patients are not fully covered. It is estimated that Medi-Cal reimbursement covers between 50 to 60 percent of the cost of services per patient.  

In the 2020 fiscal year, UC also provided $1.1 billion in care for people enrolled in Medi-Cal for which it was not reimbursed, a 47 percent increase since 2015. Statewide, the economic fallout of the pandemic has driven a 6.8 percent increase in Medi-Cal enrollment from 12,601,715 in January 2020 to 13,460,587 in January 2021 — which will likely contribute to greater future financial loss.   

Providing Accessible Health Education and Training Across California 

All UCH health professional education emphasizes public service and caring for communities that have traditionally faced barriers to care or inadequate public health resources. But that’s not enough. We have opened new UC schools and programs in areas where additional health care is needed. And, our UC PRIME model of training equips the next generation of physicians for leadership and advocacy for groups who do not regularly have access to quality care. 

Explore how UCH is improving diversity, equity and inclusion across the health sciences. 

World-Class Care Regardless of Ability to Pay 

The University of California’s academic health centers provided $1.4 billion in net community benefit in FY 2018-2019 reporting period, the most recently completed fiscal year. The largest share of that 1.4 billion — $920 million — was costs that were not reimbursed for treating Medi-Cal patients. UCH hospitals community benefit expenses also included $2.8 million in costs for Medicare that were not reimbursed. 

Learn more about the community benefit UCH provides to Californians.