A New York Supreme Court judge has stopped the state of New York from implementing a new methodology for calculating reimbursement rates that would have cost operators $246 million in Medicaid funding.

Acting Supreme Court Justice Kimberly O’Connor granted a preliminary injunction late Thursday, temporarily halting the change from taking effect. 

The ruling is a “big relief” for members, said Ami Schnauber, vice president of advocacy and public policy for LeadingAge New York. 

“In granting the preliminary injunction, Judge O’Connor determined that the merits of the case were sound, and patients, workers and nursing home facilities were facing significant immediate harm,” LeadingAge New York President James Clyne Jr. added in a statement.  “We are gratified that our residents and employees will be protected while we establish that the new methodology violates state and federal law.” 

A coalition of more than 100 state and regional nursing homes filed a lawsuit against the New York Department of Health and officials in late October. The suit challenged the state’s proposal to change its methodology for calculating case-mix index adjustments, which sets Medicaid reimbursement rates for skilled nursing facilities.

They argued the change would effectively cut Medicaid by an average of $11.47 per resident per day, or $246 million per year statewide. The cuts had been scheduled to be implemented by Wednesday of this week (Nov. 6) and be made retroactive to July 1, 2019.