LEBANON, N.H. - "We want the state to wake up. The state has now heard from a federal judge and from their 600 million dollar partner, CMS, that their Medicaid program is broken," said Frank McDougall, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center's Vice President for Government Affairs.

The hospital says the State of New Hampshire is putting the quality of patient care at risk. "Since 2008, the New Hampshire Medicaid Budget has been reduced by 327 million dollars. That is an enormously significant number," McDougall said.

And that is the basis for the lawsuit filed by 10 hospitals including DHMC. McDougall says the cuts are effecting current services offered and that as a result, they may have to cut some services in the future.

"In March Judge Steven J. McAuliffe, the federal judge that is hearing our suit, issued a ruling that was very positive for the hospital. He basically said that the rates for New Hampshire Medicaid are set without any analysis of their impact on patients," McDougall said.

And the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, took an unusual step -- sending a letter to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services saying the state has failed to provide necessary data to justify its budget cuts. The letter gives the DHHS a 30-days notice to answer it's pressing questions -- Like access to care, impact on programs and on rates.

New Hampshire's DHHS Commissioner, Nick Toumpas, told WCAX: "It is of the utmost importance for DHHS to work collaboratively with CMS to resolve the issues and concerns."

To view the story...