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Update on the Medi-Cal Payment Lawsuit

Friday, August 5th, was the last day to file amicus briefs for the Maxwell-Jolly v. Independent Living Center of Southern California case. The case will determine whether individuals have the right to sue government agencies and officials over cuts to Medicaid. Plaintiffs of the case, which also include the California Pharmacist Association and Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, argue that a 10% reduction in Medi-Cal reimbursement rates for providers will jeopardize beneficiaries’ access to care and conflict with the federal Medicaid Act.

The American Hospital Association, the Federation of American Hospitals, and a number of other health care providers filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of providers and beneficiaries’ right to challenge cuts to Medi-Cal. Four pharmacy groups, including the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Association and the American Pharmacists Association, also filed amicus briefs attesting to providers right to sue the state.

California officials, on the other hand, contend that providers and beneficiaries do not have the right to sue the state for allegedly violating federal Medicaid regulations. Twenty-two states and the Obama Administration filed briefs in support of California agreeing that states need to be able to enact cuts without the threat of lawsuits.

Oral hearings for the case are scheduled for October 3rd and a ruling is expected in early 2012.

For more background on the case, reference ITUP’s previous blog post.

For more details, see this feature on California Healthline.