The Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems filed suit in state and federal courts to block hospital reimbursement cuts in the state's expanded Medicaid program, the Oregon Health Plan. Facing a statewide budget deficit, the Department of Human Services in March cut Medicaid inpatient and outpatient rates by 12% and eliminated almost all outlier payments. The cuts are projected to save the state $82 million over the next 28 months. The association said even before the cuts, the Oregon Health Plan was paying hospitals $130 million less per year than their actual costs. Joined by physician groups and consumer advocates, the association filed a separate lawsuit in state court to prevent the health department from delaying coverage for patients eligible for the health plan. This month, the department revoked the state's "retroactive eligibility" policy, under which the state paid for services delivered from the date of a patient's application for eligibility. Under the new rules, only services received after the application is approved are covered. -- by Laura B. Benko
Ore. hospital group sues state over payment cuts
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