Court ruling gives hospitals, patients a say in Medicaid cuts

Hospitals and patients in New Hampshire may get a chance to air their grievances over $250 million in Medicaid reimbursement cuts for the state's 2012-2013 budget, the New Hampshire Union Leader reported.

A preliminary injunction issued March 2 ordered the state to follow federal notification and comment protocols, giving state Department of Health & Human Services Commissioner Nicholas A. Toumpas 15 days to decide whether he will maintain the reduced Medicaid rate reductions. If he does, the public will have 30 days to comment, according to the newspaper.

After the public comment session, the DHHS administration must disclose what rates the state will pay to hospitals and explain how and why the department set those rates, a federal judge ordered.

Moreover, the federal judge said New Hampshire's rate-setting process is flawed and doesn't meet federal Medicaid regulations, Foster's Daily Democrat reported.

In response to the multimillion-dollar cuts, 10 New Hampshire hospitals sued the state to block the two-year budget that calls for the lowered Medicaid funding, a move that the state Attorney General deemed invalid.

The New Hampshire hospitals also are seeking a review of the state's Medicaid rates by U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, noted Foster's Daily Democrat.

For more:
- read the Union Leader article
- here's the Foster's article