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Judge allows state to cut Medicaid fees to pharmacists

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An Indianapolis federal judge has reversed the temporary restraining order she issued two months ago that stopped the state from cutting fees it pays to pharmacists for dispensing Medicaid prescriptions.

The decision Wednesday by U.S. Judge Tanya Walton Pratt in the Southern District of Indiana follows more comprehensive briefing and arguments held in August. She overruled the judgment issued a week after the lawsuit was filed July 1.

As plaintiffs, the non-profit Community Pharmacies of Indiana and Williams Brothers Health Care Pharmacy in southern Indiana challenged a new state policy requiring a 38 percent cut in the Medicaid pharmacy-dispensing fee; meaning pharmacies would receive $3 instead of $4.90 for preparing and dispensing any particular drug under the Medicaid program.

Judge Pratt granted a temporary restraining order against the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration and its Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning on July 8 until the briefs and court arguments could provide more of the legal theory behind the case.

In her 24-page order Wednesday, Judge Pratt noted that the plaintiffs’ overarching argument has remained the same: that the fee reduction is a violation of state and federal law and would cause irreparable harm, because many pharmacies will have to seriously reevaluate whether they can afford to continue offering Medicaid services as they had and some would be driven out of business.

“The State counters that these apocalyptic scenarios are purely speculative, and, in any event, the Fee Reduction complies with state and federal law,” she wrote. “While the Court certainly sympathizes with Plaintiffs, the State’s position best aligns with the law at this stage of the proceedings.”

Judge Pratt noted that it’s “not to say the Plaintiffs are crying wolf,” and indeed “their dire predictions may, but hopefully will not, morph into reality. Regardless, at this stage, the Court simply has more questions than answers when it comes to the Fee Reduction’s further impact on the availability of Medicaid services.”

Judge Pratt reversed the TRO and denied the request for a preliminary injunction. No further hearings have been scheduled as of the date of the order, according to the federal court’s docket. The case is Community Pharmacies of Indiana, et al v. Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, et. al., No. 1:11-cv-00893.

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  1. Video pen? Nice work, "JW"! Let this be a lesson and a caution to all disgruntled ex-spouses (or soon-to-be ex-spouses) . . . you may think that altercation is going to get you some satisfaction . . . it will not.

  2. First comment on this thread is a fitting final comment on this thread, as that the MCBA never answered Duncan's fine question, and now even Eric Holder agrees that the MCBA was in material error as to the facts: "I don't get it" from Duncan December 1, 2014 5:10 PM "The Grand Jury met for 25 days and heard 70 hours of testimony according to this article and they made a decision that no crime occurred. On what basis does the MCBA conclude that their decision was "unjust"? What special knowledge or evidence does the MCBA have that the Grand Jury hearing this matter was unaware of? The system that we as lawyers are sworn to uphold made a decision that there was insufficient proof that officer committed a crime. How can any of us say we know better what was right than the jury that actually heard all of the the evidence in this case."

  3. wow is this a bunch of bs! i know the facts!

  4. MCBA .... time for a new release about your entire membership (or is it just the alter ego) being "saddened and disappointed" in the failure to lynch a police officer protecting himself in the line of duty. But this time against Eric Holder and the Federal Bureau of Investigation: "WASHINGTON — Justice Department lawyers will recommend that no civil rights charges be brought against the police officer who fatally shot an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Mo., after an F.B.I. investigation found no evidence to support charges, law enforcement officials said Wednesday." http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/22/us/justice-department-ferguson-civil-rights-darren-wilson.html?ref=us&_r=0

  5. Dr wail asfour lives 3 hours from the hospital,where if he gets an emergency at least he needs three hours,while even if he is on call he should be in a location where it gives him max 10 minutes to be beside the patient,they get paid double on their on call days ,where look how they handle it,so if the death of the patient occurs on weekend and these doctors still repeat same pattern such issue should be raised,they should be closer to the patient.on other hand if all the death occured on the absence of the Dr and the nurses handle it,the nurses should get trained how to function appearntly they not that good,if the Dr lives 3 hours far from the hospital on his call days he should sleep in the hospital

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