8 Maine Hospitals Sue Secretary Sebelius Over Repayment Decision

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is being sued by eight hospitals in Maine for allegedly issuing an arbitrary and unsound ruling in a dispute over disproportionate share payments, according to a Bangor Daily News report.

In 2005, the hospitals repaid "tens of millions" in received payments following a change in the ruling on how the payments should be calculated with regard to dual-eligible patients, according to the report.

The hospitals appealed to a Medicare review board, which decided that the hospitals were not properly informed past payments would be subject to review and repayment following the ruling, and were entitled to most of the money that had been repaid, according to the report.

Secretary Sebelius then overruled the board, denying hospitals the funds in a move the lawsuit claims was "arbitrary, capricious" and "an abuse of discretion," according to the report.

The eight hospitals suing to be refunded the repaid money include Maine Medical Center in Portland, Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick, Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, Mercy Hospital in Portland, Northern Maine Medical Center in Fort Kent, Southern Maine Medical Center in Biddeford and MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta, according to the report.

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