The CMS won the first round in defending a New Jersey "gainsharing" project against a challenge by three hospitals in the Robert Wood Johnson Health System, New Brunswick, N.J. A U.S. District Court judge in Newark declined on Monday to issue a preliminary injunction to block the project, as the hospitals failed to show they had suffered irreparable harm, a CMS spokesman said. The judge ordered a consolidated hearing on the request for an injunction and the merits of the case, to be held April 13 when both parties can better assess the program's impact on the hospitals, the spokesman said. The Robert Wood Johnson hospitals argue that the three-year gainsharing project creates an uneven playing field that favors the eight hospitals selected to participate. The project, approved by the CMS last year and launched Jan. 1, allows participating hospitals to offer cash bonuses to doctors who help reduce inpatient costs. -- by Cinda Becker
Judge lets N.J. project go on but orders hearing
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