KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Appeals Court To Take Up Ariz. Medicaid Challenge

The state appellate court will hear arguments next month on whether the governor can reduce enrollment in Medicaid.

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Arizona Court Agrees To Hear Challenge To State's Eligibility Reductions For Medicaid Program
The Arizona Court of Appeals has agreed to consider an appeal of a judge's ruling that Gov. Jan Brewer can legally reduce enrollment in Arizona's Medicaid program to help balance the state budget. The state has imposed new limits on enrolling for the first time or re-enrolling in the state program. The limits affect certain enrollment categories, including childless adults (9/14).

The Arizona Republic: Arizona Court Agrees To Consider Medicaid Enrollment
The Arizona Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments next month in a lawsuit brought by low-income residents who argue Gov. Jan Brewer's cuts to the state Medicaid program violate the state Constitution and the will of voters. A lower-court judge last month refused to block the cuts, agreeing with attorneys for Brewer and the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System that a voter-approved law requiring health coverage for all Arizonans below the federal poverty level doesn't force the Legislature to pay for it. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Mark Brain's ruling allowed an enrollment cap, approved by federal health officials in July, to remain (Reinhart, 9/15).

Meanwhile, a key consulting firm that has contracts with states has settled a lawsuit with the federal government.

Kansas Health Institute News: Kansas Medicaid Contractor Agrees To Pay U.S. Justice Department $63.6 Million
Accenture, the global consulting firm hired by the administration of Gov. Sam Brownback to build Kansas a new Medicaid eligibility system, has agreed to pay the federal government $63.6 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit. The settlement was announced this week by U.S. Justice Department officials, who had accused the company of bid rigging, kickbacks and billing fraud. ... The lawsuit that was settled had been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. The government alleged that Accenture "submitted or caused to be submitted false claims for payment under numerous contracts with agencies of the United States for information technology services"  (9/14). 

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