State faces lawsuit over Medicaid funds - - Jackson, MS

State faces lawsuit over Medicaid funds

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By Ashley Conroy

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The state faces a lawsuit against several health care associations because of Medicaid's decision to cut $14.6 million dollars from various providers throughout the state.

The Mississippi Health Care Association, the Independent Nursing Home Association, and the Mississippi Independent Pharmacy Association filed this suit in the Hinds County Chancery Court on Thursday.

Executive Director of MIPA, Robert Dozier says for pharmacies that see anywhere from 20 to 50 percent Medicaid business will either have to turn Medicaid recipients down, or shut their doors.

"That is as simple as it is right there. These cuts are very drastic. And we just cannot live with these cuts," Dozier said.

In a statement, Executive Director Vanessa Henderson of the Mississippi Health Care Association said:

"We have exhausted all other avenues of trying to work with the division of medicaid, Now we have no other choice, but pursue legal action as we represent the most vulnerable citizens of our state."

House Appropriations Committee member, Representative Cecil Brown says he will work with the legislature to try to restore these cuts when they meet back on April 20th.

However, Brown says the Medicaid Division has the right to restore funds on their own through the Health Care Trust Fund.

"My understanding is that Medicaid can take that money the $14 million from the health care trust fund without any legislative approval. They already have the authority to do that."

Brown adds that the legislature is trying to figure out exactly what is going on.

"We're going to try to explore it and try to figure it out, but I just don't think we've gotten to the bottom of what's happening here."

Attorneys for MIPA say they will not pursue legal action if the legislature decides to restore the cuts back to Medicaid.

Meanwhile, the state's Medicaid Division has not commented at this time.

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