Judge dismisses dual eligible suit, groups to appeal

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Advocacy groups who sued the government over dual eligibles' accessibility to prescription drugs under the new benefit said they plan to appeal a federal judge's decision to dismiss the suit.

Eight advocacy groups, as well as the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, filed a lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services to force the agency to install safeguards to ensure dual eligibles have drug coverage at the start of the benefit. Specifically, they wanted HHS to keep Medicaid coverage and install protections against computer problems and other delays.

Federal District Judge Loretta Preska ruled that the court did not have the range of authority to intervene before actual problems occur.