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Six Massachusetts hospitals to sue state over payment shortfalls

Boston Globe, December 1, 2009

Six Massachusetts community hospitals, squeezed by the economic downturn and the state budget crunch, are set to file a lawsuit seeking millions of dollars from the state for unpaid healthcare services. The suit charges that Massachusetts violated a law requiring adequate reimbursement to hospitals for patients insured by the government. The hospitals contend the state set repayment rates so low they do not cover the cost of such medical care, the Boston Globe reports. The plaintiffs are part of a group of "disproportionate share hospitals," institutions at which at least 63% of patients, mostly low-income or elderly, are covered by public insurance plans such as Medicaid or Medicare.