CHA Provides amicus support in cases of significance to CHA Member Hospitals. CHA's legal department advocates vigorously before the courts on behalf of California hospitals as amicus curiae in important appellate cases.
CHA Provides amicus support in cases of significance to CHA Member Hospitals. CHA’s legal department advocates vigorously before the courts on behalf of California hospitals as amicus curiae in important appellate cases.
On Dec. 29, a federal district court granted the government’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the American Hospital Association and others seeking to prevent the payment cuts to hospitals participating in the 340B Drug Pricing Program. The payment cuts consequently became effective Jan. 1, reducing Medicare payments by nearly 30 percent, or $1.6 billion, to certain hospitals for outpatient drugs purchased under the 340B program. CHA and 32 other state and regional hospital associations had submitted an amicus (friend of the court) brief supporting the plaintiffs’ claims.
The lawsuit argues that the 340B provisions of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ outpatient prospective payment system final rule violate the law and, therefore, should be set aside under the Administrative Procedure Act as unlawful and exceeding the Health and Human Services Secretary’s statutory authority. The judge dismissed the case without ruling on the merits and instead held that he lacked jurisdiction because the plaintiffs did not exhaust their administrative remedies by first presenting the Department of Health and Human Services with a concrete claim for reimbursement.
Today, U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras said he will rule on the American Hospital Association’s request for a preliminary injunction that seeks to block implementation of the payment cuts to hospitals participating in the 340B Drug Pricing Program, which are scheduled to take effect Jan.1, 2018. According to trade press reports, the judge also indicated during the 90-minute hearing that his decision is likely to face an appeal.
“My goal is decide soon and let the circuit court decide it,” Contreras told attorneys.
The American Hospital Association and other hospitals are seeking to block a provision enacted as part of the calendar year 2018 outpatient prospective payment system rule that will cut payments to 340B hospitals by nearly 30 percent for certain. CHA filed an amicus brief in support of the case earlier this month. CHA will keep members informed through CHA News once a final decision is made.
CHA has joined 31 other state and regional hospital associations in filing the attached amicus (friend of the court) brief in a lawsuit challenging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ proposed cuts to the Medicare 340B Drug Pricing Program.
In American Hospital Association v. Hargan, filed on Nov. 13, the American Hospital Association and various other hospital associations, hospitals and health systems seek to invalidate the finalized regulation that would cut payments to many hospitals in the 340B program by nearly 30 percent. According to the amicus brief filed by CHA and the other hospital associations last Friday, “If the new rule is allowed to stand, safety-net providers will be forced to eliminate or dramatically curtail crucial programs that treat a wide range of medical conditions – from cancer to mental health disorders to diabetes to opioid addiction to HIV/AIDS … Given their unique position, amici respectfully submit this brief to inform the Court about what will happen if CMS is permitted to take a scalpel — or really, an old-fashioned amputation saw — to the 340B Program.”
Plaintiffs seek a preliminary injunction to prevent the regulation from going into effect on Jan. 1, as scheduled; the defendant has responded with a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Both motions are scheduled to be heard by the court on Dec. 21.