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Court rules that Medi-Cal cut to hospitals was illegal

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A federal appeals court has ruled that the federal government erred in approving  California’s request to temporarily cut Medi-Cal (the state’s Medicaid program) reimbursement for hospital outpatient care by 10 percent during the  Great Recession.

The ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said the Feds can approve such cuts only if evidence shows that the aid  recipients  will  continue to have access to the same services as the general population.

California imposed the cutback  from July 2008 through February 2009.

Robert Leventhal, a lawyer who represented more than 50 hospitals in the case, told the Los Angeles Times that if the ruling stands, the state and  federal governments will have to pay back California hospitals hundreds of millions of dollars.

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