Retail News Breaks
Court upholds injunction suspending Medi-Cal cuts
March 26th, 2012
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores applauded a federal court ruling that upheld an injunction blocking the implementation of cuts to Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program.
NACDS said Monday that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of health care providers by denying a request by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to suspend a preliminary injunction preventing a 10% reimbursement cut in Medi-Cal from going forward.
"We applaud the court's decision to preserve patient access to pharmacy care," NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson said in a statement. "The proposed Medi-Cal cuts would compromise patient health and access to pharmacy services, thus driving up health care costs. The court acted wisely in siding with patients in denying the State's request for a stay."
In February, Judge Christina Snyder issued a final ruling in California Medical Association et al. v. Douglas, granting the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction, enjoining California from going ahead with its 10% Medi-Cal rate reduction. Other plaintiffs in the original case besides the California Medical Association were NACDS, the California Dental Association, California Pharmacists Association, California Association of Medical Product Suppliers, AIDS Healthcare Foundation and American Medical Response.
DHCS filed an emergency stay request, which would have suspended the preliminary injunction until there was a ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. But that request was denied.
"We are pleased with the court's decision, once again," stated CMA president James Hay. "It is time for the state to stop looking to the Medi-Cal program for their budget problems. The court has spoken, and proposed cuts have been blocked. Let's move forward and find a solution rather than continuing down this road.
"In her ruling last month, Judge Snyder said that 'fiscal crisis does not outweigh the serious irreparable injury plaintiffs would suffer absent the issuance of an injunction,’ " Hay noted. "It's time that DHCS take guidance from her judgment."
Late last month, NACDS and other pharmacy groups hailed a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that upheld the ability of pharmacists and other health care providers to challenge the Medi-Cal reimbursement cuts. The High Court's ruling returned the matter to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
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