Hospital groups contest Medicaid cuts in Supreme Court argument

A group including the American Hospital Association (AHA), Association of American Medical Colleges, the Federation of American Hospitals, and other powerhouse trade organizations have filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court to argue against the right of states to arbitrarily cut Medicaid payments, reports AHA News Now.

The Supreme Court is currently reviewing a California case that was filed on behalf of various providers when the state's Department of Health Care Services tried to cut Medicaid payment rates to hospitals by 10 percent several years ago. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the right of providers to sue to enforce federal Medicaid law, but that judgment is currently under appeal to the Supreme Court.

The providers are arguing that the Constitution's Supremacy Clause would invalidate decisions by individual states to cut Medicaid payments to providers.

"This case is critical to preserve providers' access to the federal court to hold states accountable for provider payment decisions," said AHA President Rich Umbdenstock. "Beneficiaries' access to healthcare services depends on having financially viable providers. Arbitrary spending cuts threaten access for our most vulnerable populations."

For more:
- read the AHA News Now article
- here's the amicus brief