Supreme Court: Private medical providers can't sue states to raise Medicaid reimbursement rate

Associated Press

The Supreme Court says private sector health care companies cannot sue to force states to raise their Medicaid reimbursement rates to keep up with rising medical costs.

The justices ruled 5-4 Tuesday that the medical companies have no private right to enforce federal Medicaid funding laws against states if Congress has not created such a right.

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A 2009 lawsuit against Idaho claimed the state was unfairly keeping Medicaid reimbursement rates at 2006 levels despite studies showing that the cost of providing care had gone up. Lower courts agreed and the increased reimbursements cost Idaho an additional $12 million in 2013.

But the Supreme Court sided with state officials, saying it's up to the federal agencies that oversee Medicaid to decide whether a state is in compliance with reimbursement rules.