NH News
1:53 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Hospitals Take State To Court Over Medicaid Reimbursement

The Attorney General’s Office Thursday argued a federal judge should dismiss a lawsuit filed by 10 hospitals against the state.

Hospitals are suing over the state’s decision to cut how much it pays doctors and hospitals for treating low-income Medicaid patients.

They say those cuts violate New Hampshire’s agreement with the federal government to provide care to the poor.

But Senior Assistant Attorney General Nancy Smith says hospitals have no legal authority to question state reimbursement rates.

“The Medicaid program that Congress envisioned is a partnership between the federal government and the state,” said Smith.

Federal Judge Steven McAuliffe pressed Smith on that point.

He repeatedly asked- if hospitals, doctors or Medicaid recipients themselves believe the agreement between the state and Washington isn’t working, is there any legal recourse.

Smith said no.

Finally, McAuliffe said that seems to be an “odd perception.”

The two sides are scheduled to meet in court again on January 10.