A lawsuit in California has challenged the decision to cut the state’s already-inadequate Medicaid reimbursement rates by 10%.
The state’s current rates are already so low that many providers are unwilling or unable to participate, resulting in long delays to care (or no care at all) for the most vulnerable children and adults in California. The cuts – which would impact outpatient services for physicians, dentists, clinics, optometrists, medical equipment, laboratories, and pharmacies – will only further limit access to care and burden those in need with lifelong health concerns. The suit alleges that the state made the this decision before receiving or analyzing information showing how such cuts would impact patients, as required by law. If successful, this case, like Douglas v. Independent Living Center of Southern California and the Law Center’s class action suit in Florida, will be an important step in ensuring that everyone has access to the prompt, effective medical and dental care that we all need to live our lives and reach our potential.
The suit is being brought by the California Dental Association, the California Medical Association (CMA), the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA), and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. For more information on the case, click here.
UPDATE: On February 1, 2012, U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder granted a preliminary injunction preventing California from enforcing the 10% cut. On February 29, 2012, California appealed and sought an emergency stay; the plaintiffs opposed this appeal. On March 20th, 2012, the Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and denied the state its emergency stay. A victory for health care providers and their patients!