Supreme Court: Medical Providers Can’t Sue States Over Medicaid

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that private medical providers that deliver residential care services in Idaho cannot sue the state in order to raise Medicaid reimbursement rates to deal with rising medical costs.

The justices, on a 5-4 vote, ruled in favor of the state of Idaho, which asserted that medical providers have no legal recourse to sue.

Medicaid is a federal health insurance program for lower-income people that is administered by the states. Idaho’s lawyers said that in order to receive Medicaid funding, they are required only to comply with the Medicaid Act and related regulations.

Complaints about payments should be addressed to the federal government, the state said.

The case focused on rates for certain residential services.

State officials recommended increases in reimbursement rates in the late 2000s but they were never implemented because the Idaho legislature declined to appropriate funds, according to court papers.