Federal judge rules against TennCare, permits class action lawsuit

Federal judge rules against TennCare, permits class action lawsuit

September 2nd, 2014 by Kate Harrison Belz in Local - Breaking News

Document: Class Certification

Plaintiffs? motion for class certification.

Document: Preliminary Injunction

Plaintiffs? motion for preliminary injunction

A federal judge has ruled against Tennessee's Medicaid agency, granting class action status to a lawsuit filed against the state agency by 11 patients who alleged months-long delays getting TennCare coverage.

The ruling means that potentially hundreds of Tennesseans can join the lawsuit against the state, filed against TennCare by the Tennessee Justice Center, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Health Law Program.

U.S. District Judge Todd J. Campbell, who issued the decision Tuesday afternoon, also ruled that TennCare must find a way to quickly determine eligibility for people who have waited months to find out their application status.

"Plaintiff class members are economically impoverished and, without TennCare benefits, have foregone or are foregoing vital medical treatments, services, and prescriptions," the judge wrote. "These injuries cannot be made whole by a retroactive award of money after the litigation process is complete."

Stay with the Times Free Press for more details as they develop and read complete story in Wednesday's editions.