A group of 22 nursing homes in New York City, Long Island and Poughkeepsie (River Valley Care Center Inc.) filed a lawsuit in Manhattan today against the state for reducing their Medicaid reimbursement rates. The cuts were recommended by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Medicaid Redesign Team earlier this year and were enacted as part of the state budget.
The nursing homes, which stand to lose more than $22 million as a result of the change, accuse the state of violating their due process rights and the federal Social Security Act. The lawsuit, filed in state Supreme Court, said nursing homes received a retroactive “scale back” that changed the 2009 and 2010 reimbursement rates to limit the aggregate increase in reimbursements to $210 million and retroactively eliminated automatic inflation adjustments that began in 2008.
The state made other Medicaid changes that negatively affect the nursing homes, according to court papers.
This is an excerpt from the lawsuit:
Unless enjoined, the effect of the reduction in Medicaid reimbursement rates will be catastrophic for Medicaid recipients throughout New York, as well as service providers like Plaintiffs. The rate reductions will result in reimbursement being cut so drastically that nursing facilities may be forced to curtail services; lay off employees, risking compromise to the quality of care; where possible, discourage Medicaid admissions in favor of Medicare or private insurance paid patients whose rates are not subject to these drastic reimbursement cuts; file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, clearly posing a danger to the orderly care of patients; or, in some cases, cause the Facilities to cease operations altogether.
Cuomo and Dr. Nirav Shah, state health commissioner, were named in the suit. There was no immediate comment from the governor’s office or the Health Department.