Missouri gets second opportunity

Thursday, August 31, 2006

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - A federal appeals court ruled June 21 that Missouri was unreasonable in denying Medicaid coverage for certain medical equipment.
The ruling overturned a 2005 court decision that rejected a request for an injunction to block a new law restricting the coverage of certain durable medical equipment under Medicaid.
Several disabled Missourians filed suit last September to stop new Medicaid cuts that eliminated coverage for items like hospital beds, wheelchair batteries and feeding tubes, a move lawmakers said would save the state $25 million in the next fiscal year.
Brady Vestal, president of the Missouri Association of Medical Equipment Suppliers, said he was pleased with the ruling but said it was too soon to tell what effect the decision would ultimately have on providers.
"We think our message is getting through," said Vestal.
Vestal expects the state to appeal the decision. Meanwhile, providers will continue to operate with the cuts in place until Medicaid formally notifies them and publishes a bulletin regarding any changes.