SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last week denied California’s Department of Health Care Services’ effort to suspend an earlier decision by a federal judge to block cuts in Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program.
The state tried to trim 10% from Medi-Cal reimbursements for health care providers, including retail pharmacists. Advocates sued, saying the cuts would make it harder for low-income residents to get health care, and U.S. District Court Judge Christina Snyder agreed.
Even though the federal agency that oversees Medi-Cal had approved the budget cuts, Snyder agreed to block them while the case continues.
The 9th Circuit turned down the state's effort to suspend Snyder's injunction.
"Community pharmacy provides unsurpassed value in improving patient health and reducing costs across the board. The proposed Medi-Cal cuts would compromise patient health and access to pharmacy services, thus driving up health care costs. The court acted wisely in siding with patients in denying the state's request for a stay," said Steven C. Anderson, president and chief executive officer of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, in a prepared statement.