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The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that an Obama-era rule change on how Medicare reimbursements to hospitals are made should be removed because officials did not follow the proper notice and comment regulations in implementing the formula.
The court ruled 7-1 to vacate the rule, with Justice Neil Gorsuch writing the majority opinion. Justice Stephen Breyer was the sole dissenting member of the court, and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the newest member of the court, was not involved in the case.
The highly technical ruling and dispute involves billions of dollars in Medicare payments to hospitals.The court ruled for hospitals that had sued over the 2014 policy, which reduced their payments for serving low-income patients because of a change to the payment formula.
“In 2014, the government revealed a new policy on its website that dramatically—and retroactively—reduced payments to hospitals serving low-income patients,” Gorsuch wrote.
“Because affected members of the public received no advance warning and no chance to comment first, and because the government has not identified a lawful excuse for neglecting its statutory notice-and-comment obligations, we agree with the court of appeals that the new policy cannot stand,” he continued.