SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request from the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) and other health care coalition members for an en banc review of an earlier decision in which a three-judge panel overturned several injunctions that prevented implementation of the 10% Medi-Cal reimbursement cuts passed by the California Legislature in 2011 (AB 97). The court rejected all of the arguments in the petition for review.
“While not surprising, we are deeply disappointed in today’s decision and absolutely believe it will result in harm to Medi-Cal patients,” said Jon Roth, Chief Executive Officer of CPhA. “It is absurd to think you can slash reimbursement rates resulting in pharmacists providing services below their actual costs while at the same time expanding the Medi-Cal program to 4 million additional beneficiaries under health care reform beginning in 2014 – I am astonished that the State thinks this will work.”
In their earlier decision, the three-judge panel determined that the court appropriately deferred to a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) administrative decision that approved the California State Plan Amendment (SPA) allowing the cuts to providers, and that the SPA met the requirements of ensuring access to care under Section 30(A) of the Medicaid statute. The judges also found that the Secretary of Health and Human Services did not abuse her authority or discretion in approving the SPA and a Supremacy Clause claim is not applicable because of those facts.
The latest decision narrows the options for CPhA and coalition partners in the multi-year fight against a number of provider reimbursement cuts made by the state. “At this point we are weighing all our options, including a petition to the US Supreme Court,” stated Roth.
About the California Pharmacist Association (CPhA)
The California Pharmacists Association represents pharmacy professionals from all practice settings whose mission is to promote, expand and defend the profession of pharmacy and the role of pharmacists in California.