Superior Court Denies Pharmacies’ Challenge to Medi-Cal Payment Cuts
On Friday, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Fawley denied a request to halt a 10% Medi-Cal reimbursement cut for health care providers that took effect on July 1, the Sacramento Business Journal reports. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
The complaint, filed on June 10 by eight pharmacies, alleged that the state Department of Health Care Services did not meet all of the requirements in state law to reduce Medi-Cal payments and that the cut would hurt pharmacies and Medi-Cal beneficiaries.
Fawley ruled that the pharmacies failed to show that the state needed federal approval prior to the cuts and that the alleged risk to pharmacies was speculative.
The 10% cut in Medi-Cal physician reimbursements is expected to save the state more than $600 million in Medi-Cal spending in fiscal year 2008-2009. Health care providers and consumer groups oppose the cuts.
Two other lawsuits challenging the cuts are pending in federal court (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 7/7).