A U.S. District Court judge in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has denied the American College of Cardiology's request for a preliminary injunction to block a scheduled Medicare reimbursement cut for cardiology services.And from the ACC Advocate newsletter:
The ACC, its Florida chapter and other cardiology organizations filed a lawsuit against HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Dec. 28, seeking to stop the pay cut on the grounds that is based on the “erroneous and flawed” Physician Practice Information Survey. The ACC said Medicare payment cuts for 37,000 cardiologists are being based on the practice expenses of 55 doctors.
In addition to denying the injunction, Judge William Dimitrouleas denied a request for expedited discovery and canceled a scheduled hearing.
“We are deeply disappointed in the judge's decision not to hear our case on the preliminary injunction based on his opinion that the federal courts do not have jurisdiction to review Medicare physician payment determinations,” ACC CEO Jack Lewin said in a news release.
Basically, the judge refused to hear our case on jurisdictional grounds, finding that statutory language governing the Medicare program precludes judicial review of the relative value units and the methods for determining the RVUs in the Medicare fee schedule.Interesting. So it seems that federal courts don't have jurisdiction over a federal program like Medicare's labyrinthine processes. Then who does?
(Maybe a sympathetic lawyer out there could explain this ruling to us not so legally inclined.)