Wise Carter’s George Ritter, Charles Cowan, and John Sneed found victory for Mississippi’s fourteen regional community mental health centers in an appeal before the Mississippi Supreme Court. In the decision United Healthcare of Mississippi, Inc. v. Mississippi’s Community Mental Health Commissions, handed down on March 24, 2022, the Supreme Court considered whether one of Mississippi’s Medicaid managed care contractors could impose an across the board 5 percent rate cut on reimbursement of care the community mental health centers provide to Mississippi’s Medicaid beneficiaries.
United Healthcare, one of the managed care companies that contracts with the State of Mississippi to provide managed care Medicaid services, applied what it claimed was a mandatory 5 percent reduction in Medicaid payments for services provided by the community mental health centers. The centers successfully obtained an injunction in the Hinds County Circuit Court barring United’s 5 percent rate cut. United appealed the decision to the Mississippi Supreme Court, which affirmed the trial court’s decision in favor of Wise Carter’s clients.
Ultimately, the Supreme Court held found that United breached its provider agreements and violated state statutes by unlawfully imposing the 5% rate cut and ordered it to eliminate the reduction moving forward. This is a significant victory for Mississippi healthcare providers challenging insurance company and managed care payor decisions.
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