Doctors, pharmacists sue to block state Medicaid cuts

The California Medical Association (CMA) and several other trade groups sued the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the State of California for impending cuts to the state's Medicaid program, reported the Associated Press yesterday.

The lawsuit filed by the CMA, the California Dental Association, the California Pharmacists Association, and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores comes a couple of weeks after the California Hospital Association sued to try and block the double-digit cuts. The cuts were approved last month by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The payment reductions would total 10 percent or more for certain services rendered in hospitals, dental practices, pharmacies, and elsewhere. The cuts are expected to save California about $623 million per year in administering Medi-Cal, the state's version of the Medicaid program.

The CMA claims CMS did not follow standard procedures in gathering data prior to approving the cuts. "It is clear that CMS did not follow protocol and applied the wrong legal standard," said CMA legal counsel Francisco Silva in Nov. 21 statement.

For more information:
- read the AP article
- read the CMA press release