Appeals Court Rules That Calif.’s 2009 Medi-Cal Cuts Were Illegal

Last week, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that cuts made by state officials in 2009 to Medi-Cal services for individuals in rural and other underserved areas were illegal, the Sacramento Bee reports.

In 2009, the state Legislature attempted to reduce state spending by eliminating coverage for certain Medi-Cal benefits, including:

•Adult dental care;

•Chiropractic treatment; and

•Podiatry services.

The California Association of Rural Health Clinics and a community health center in Kings County sued the Department of Health Care Services and state officials over the cuts, alleging that the Medi-Cal changes conflict with federal law. A court order reinstated the coverage in October 2010.

The state resumed payments for such services until May 2011, when it received CMS approval to eliminate coverage of benefits considered optional under Medi-Cal. DHCS then determined it had the authority to recoup payments that were made during the court-mandated period.

Read more here.

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