Judge Orders Halt to Planned Freeze of Medi-Cal Reimbursements

The state was ordered Friday by a Sacramento federal judge not to go forward with a planned freeze of Medi-Cal reimbursements to hospitals for inpatient care. A bill passed by the Legislature in October as part of the budget package froze reimbursements at the lesser of rates paid on Jan. 1, 2010, or July 1, 2010. That meant California hospitals would cease getting regular rate hikes tied to costs. The law was set to go into effect Feb. 1, but a restraining order temporarily halted implementation until U.S. District Judge Frank C. Damrell Jr. ruled on the California Hospital Association’s motion for an injunction. Damrell issued a preliminary injunction Friday against the state Department of Health Services barring enforcement of the freeze until the association’s lawsuit is decided on its merits or the parties can come to an agreement.

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