A U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has accepted the American Hospital Association (AHA) and other hospital groups expedited” briefing schedule in their appeal of a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit filed late last year. The suit sought to prevent Medicare payment cuts for many hospitals in the 340B Drug Pricing Program.
The expedited schedule will ensure completion of all briefing in the case by the beginning of April. The request to expedite briefing was filed by the AHA joined by the Association of American Medical Colleges and America’s Essential Hospitals and the hospitals that were part of the original lawsuit challenging the payment reduction – Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems in Brewer, Maine; Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan; and Adventist Health System’s Park Ridge Health in Hendersonville, North Carolina.
As a part of the order, the court rejected the government’s proposed schedule that would have extended the briefing timetable and indicated that it would set a date for oral arguments and notify the parties of the judicial appellate panel at a later date. The lower court on Dec. 29 dismissed the lawsuit as premature, but it did not rule on the merits of the groups’ claim.