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Eight California Pharmacies File Lawsuit Against the California Department of Health Care Services to Stop the 10 Percent Medi-Cal Provider Cuts to Pharmacies
Date:6/10/2008

Access to Life Saving Medications May Disappear or be Hindered For

California's Most Vulnerable Citizens

SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, eight retail community pharmacies filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Health Care Services and its director Sandra Shewry to stop the ten percent Medi-Cal provider cuts to pharmacies from going into effect on July 1, 2008. The action claims that the state Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has not met all the requirements of the statute that imposes the ten percent cuts, which was passed by the California Legislature and signed into law in February 2008. DHCS must meet all of those requirements before the cuts can be implemented. The pharmacies are filing this action because of their concern about the drastic impact these cuts will have on California's network of pharmacies as well as the tragic consequences to Medi-Cal patients.

California law requires DHCS to "promptly seek any necessary federal approvals for implementation of [the 10% cut]," which in turn requires California to file with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) a State Plan Amendment to implement the 10% cuts. The State Plan is a comprehensive written statement prepared by DHCS, which both describes the nature and scope of the Medi-Cal program and gives assurances that DHCS will administer the plan properly. DHCS cannot show that they have obtained "all necessary federal approvals" including the State Plan Amendment nor can they show that they have received approval to implement the cuts from CMS.

"This lawsuit was carefully drafted to include only issues of state law in order to avoid the fate of two other provider lawsuits that have been filed with the state only to be removed to the federal court at the request of DHCS," said Lynn Rolston, chief executive officer of the California Pharmacists Association, which is a plaintiff in one of the provider
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SOURCE California Pharmacists Association
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