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Hospital groups urge court to review CA Medicaid ruling

February 8, 2013

The AHA and eight state hospital associations yesterday filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the full Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to review a decision by a three-judge panel of the court, which reversed an injunction to prevent a proposed 10% Medicaid payment cut to hospitals and other health care providers. "Unless the Panel's decision is reconsidered, states within this Circuit will be able to blithely legislate Medicaid rate cuts with CMS imprimatur and with no meaningful judicial oversight, placing hospitals represented by the Amici at great financial risk and reducing access to care for Medicaid beneficiaries," the brief states. The California Hospital Association and other groups requested the en banc review last month. Hospitals that operate skilled nursing units face a 25% cut because the proposed reductions are based on 2008-09 rates. "This case warrants review by the full circuit both because the Panel's decision nullifies solidly reasoned, and longstanding Ninth Circuit precedent, and makes significant public policy based on highly questionable legal assumptions," the amicus brief states. The injunction will remain in effect until the full Ninth Circuit rules on the rehearing request.