(CN) – The full 9th Circuit turned down California’s appeal of a July ruling rejecting a proposed 10 percent cut in Medi-Cal payments to help reduce the state’s multibillion-dollar budget gap.
The court voted against a rehearing en banc, leaving in tact its decision that the slashed rates, passed into law in February 2008, “threatens access to much-needed medical.”
Assembly Bill 1183 cut Medi-Cal payments to doctors, dentists, pharmacies, adult health-care centers, clinics and others, and mandated the same 10 percent cut for inpatient services provided by acute-care hospitals that weren’t contracted by the state.
The law was successfully challenged by a group of pharmacies, health-care providers, senior citizens’ groups and Medi-Cal beneficiaries, who said the cuts violated federal laws requiring state payments to be “consistent with efficiency, economy and quality of care.”
In July, a three-judge panel said the state’s $26 billion budget crisis “does not excuse ongoing violations of federal law.”
The court on Wednesday rejected the state’s motion for a rehearing.