The South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations (SDAHO) plans to join with more than 30 state healthcare associations to file an amicus brief. The amicus brief advises the court of relevant, additional information or arguments that the court might wish to consider. Briefs can also focus the court’s attention on the implications of a potential holding (or ruling) on an industry, group, or jurisdiction not represented by the parties.

As you may recall, the American Hospital Association (AHA), along with five other Associations and hospitals filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C. to prevent Health and Human Services (HHS) from implementing the planned $1.6 billion reduction in 340B payments. These reimbursement changes become effective January 1, 2018.

The allegation is the 340B cut goes beyond the HHS secretary’s statutory authority in the OPPS rule violating the Social Security Act. The lawsuit also seeks an injunction preventing HHS from implementing the new payment rate until the lawsuit is resolved. The government has 21 days to file a responsive pleading.

SDAHO, along with the other associations, will file a single brief containing pertinent information related to the impacts of the new rule and cuts in payments. The group will be collectively represented by the Washington, D.C. based firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson, LLP, who are highly regarded for their work in this area. The case is expected to proceed quickly, given the new regulations take effect on January 1.

In addition, Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) introduced legislation to stop the new rule from taking effect. Although it will be challenging to get a legislative fix through both chambers before the cuts take effect, you are encouraged to email Legislative Assistant Matthew Hittle or call 202-225-2801 to ask Rep. Noem to sign-on to this legislation.