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Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denies attempt to reinstate Medi-Cal cuts


ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of healthcare providers, denying a request by the California Department of Health Care Services to suspend a preliminary injunction that currently is preventing the implementation of Medi-Cal cuts.

Last month, Judge Christina Snyder issued a final ruling in California Medical Association et al. v. Douglas, granting the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction, enjoining the state of California from implementing or otherwise applying its 10% Medi-Cal rate reduction. Plaintiffs in the original case were the California Medical Association, California Dental Association, California Pharmacists Association, National Association of Chain Drug Stores, California Association of Medical Product Suppliers, AIDS Healthcare Foundation and American Medical Response.

DHCS immediately filed an emergency stay request, which would have suspended Snyder’s preliminary injunction until there was a ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. That request has been denied.

“We are pleased with the court’s decision, once again,” stated James T. Hay, CMA president. “It is time for the state to stop looking to the Medi-Cal program for their budget problems. The court has spoken and proposed cuts have been blocked. Let’s move forward and find a solution rather than continuing down this road.”

“In her ruling last month, Judge Snyder said that ‘fiscal crisis does not outweigh the serious irreparable injury plaintiffs would suffer absent the issuance of an injunction,’” Hay added. “It’s time that DHCS take guidance from her judgment.”

Added NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson, "We applaud the court's decision to preserve patient access to pharmacy care. Community pharmacy provides unsurpassed value in improving patient health and reducing costs across the board. The proposed Medi-Cal cuts would compromise patient health and access to pharmacy services, thus driving up healthcare costs. The court acted wisely in siding with patients in denying the state's request for a stay."

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