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Mass. Court Dismisses Lawsuits From Hospitals

A Superior Court judge has dismissed lawsuits — seeking hundreds of millions of dollars — filed by seven Massachusetts hospitals alleging they were shortchanged by the state's 2006 health care law.

The first lawsuit by Boston Medical Center claimed the state illegally cut payments to the hospital for treating low-income patients.

A second lawsuit by six other hospitals claimed the state violated a law requiring health care providers be adequately reimbursed for caring for Medicaid and Medicare patients.

They say reimbursements from the government-sponsored plan don't cover the costs of health care and they don't have enough patients with private insurance to make up the difference.

Superior Court Judge Judith Fabricant ruled that neither state nor federal law authorizes judicial review of rates set by the health and human services secretary.

The so-called "safety net" hospitals include the Berkshire Medical Center, Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital, Cape Cod Hospital, Holyoke Medical Center, Merrimack Valley Hospital and Quincy Medical Center.

This program aired on December 22, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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