Arc Supreme Court Rules Against Disability Providers
This will certainly have long term implications!
From Disability Scoop
Supreme Court Rules Against Disability Providers
By SHAUN HEASLEYMarch 31, 2015
Developmental disability service providers cannot sue to force state Medicaid programs
to raise their reimbursement rates, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled.
In a 5-4 decision Tuesday, the high court ruled against a group of Idaho agencies serving
people with developmental disabilities.
The service providers had argued that the state failed to raise Medicaid payments as
outlined in a federally-approved formula for years even as such agencies faced rising
But, in a blow to the providers, the Supreme Court ruled that private companies currently
lack any right to enforce Medicaid requirements. Rather, it is up to the U.S. Secretary of
Health and Human Services to ensure that states comply with the program’s rules, the
“Our precedents establish that a private right of action under federal law is not created by
mere implication, but must be ‘unambiguously conferred,’” wrote Justice Antonin Scalia for
the majority. “Nothing in the Medicaid Act suggests that Congress meant to change that.”
Joining Scalia in the majority were Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence
Thomas, Stephen Breyer and Samuel Alito.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor said in her dissent that the decision will have significant
“Previously, a state that set reimbursement rates so low that providers were unwilling to
furnish a covered service for those who need it could be compelled by those affected to
respect the obligation imposed by (the Medicaid Act),” Sotomayor wrote. “Now, it must
suffice that a federal agency, with many programs to oversee, has authority to address
such violations through the drastic and often counterproductive measure of withholding
the funds that pay for such services.”
Sotomayor was joined in dissent by Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and