Judge denies suit to stop Medicaid rate cuts

By Bobby Harirson/NEMS Daily Journal

JACKSON – The Division of Medicaid announced late Thursday that a Hinds County chancery judge had denied a lawsuit filed by nursing homes and pharmacists to block the Division of Medicaid from cutting their reimbursement rates.
“We are pleased with the court’s decision and again ask that our providers continue to work with us during these difficult times,” Medicaid Executive Director Robert Robinson said in a news release.
Officials with the Mississippi Health Care Association, the lead group in the lawsuit, were not available for comment late Thursday.
Medicaid and the office of Gov. Haley Barbour have announced that during the final three months of the current fiscal year the reimbursement rate for health care providers will be cut to deal with a deficit of $87 million in state and federal funds.
Robinson said Medicaid is following the law in administering the cuts.
The lawsuit countered that Medicaid did not have the authority to make the cuts and would put the quality of care of Medicaid recipients in jeopardy.
Medicaid is a state-federal program that providers health care to about 600,000 elderly, disabled, poor pregnant women and poor children.
The cuts still must be approved by the federal government, which provides about 84 percent of the Medicaid funding in the state.