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Court: Health centers can challenge state Medicaid system on reimbursements

Eye doctor
Leonardo Munoz/Leonardo Munoz/EPA/Shutterstock
Optometric care is one of the services – with chiropractic, podiatric and dental care – that a group of local health care centers say Arizona’s Medicaid agency has not reimbursed them for. They claim the law requires the services be covered.

A federal appeals court Friday ordered a new hearing for Arizona community health care centers that claim the state’s Medicaid system is wrongly denying reimbursement for chiropractic, dental, optometric and podiatric care.

According to Cronkite News, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court decision that dismissed the Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers’ suit against the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, the state’s Medicaid provider.

The case was filed in 2019 by the federally qualified health care centers, which said they have “an enforceable federal right to reimbursement for service."

Circuit court Judge Richard R. Clifton said the decision to dismiss the case was wrong and ordered the case back to district court for a new hearing.