At the end of September, Judge Steven McAuliffe did something unique: he invited U.S Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to come to Concord and weigh in on the suit.
The Judge is looking for help in deciding whether or not the State’s slashing of Medicaid reimbursements to hospitals followed proper guidelines.
Well, the Secretary didn’t show. But an attorney for her agency did phone into the hearing, and informed the judge that Sebelius isn’t quite ready to give her opinion.
There’s a lot of money at stake here: lawyers for the hospitals say they’ve been short-changed tens of millions of dollars.
The State says the hospitals can afford the cuts, and that New Hampshire needs to be able to control its own spending.
In court, the Feds requested that they be given until December 19th to give their input on the rate cuts. A clearly frustrated Judge McAullife scheduled a hearing for December 20th, saying to the court room that if the Feds won’t make a decision by then, he will.