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Federal judge grants ARH's motion in part

A federal judge ruled the Cabinet for Health and Family Services should be held in contempt.

The ruling came down late this afternoon after a court hearing last Thursday where Appalachian Regional Healthcare asked the Cabinet to show cause for why they did not grant managed care organization, MCO, transfers.

This all started back in May after Coventry Cares officials sent notice to ARH saying they were terminating their contract.

An agreed order was signed saying the cabinet would grant transfers for Coventry patients who use ARH facilities.

In June, Federal Judge Karl Forester ruled that Coventry could not break its contract with ARH because it would not have an adequate network.

In a court hearing last Thursday, the Cabinet said they were not granting the transfers because ARH was still a Coventry provider, and there was not a "for cause" reason.

The judge disagreed and said there was not an appeal of the first agreed order. Therefore, the Cabinet should have granted the transfers.

This new ruling will benefit the thousands of ARH patients affected.

"It's going to enable them to stay with ARH, not to have to travel long distances to get their medical treatment and of course that helps us because we'll be able to continue to serve them and to maintain business with those people that we are serving," said ARH's Chief Legal Officer Rick King.

The judge's ruling only granted ARH's request in part.

The Cabinet will be held in contempt, but they do not have to process the transfers now. They can wait until open enrollment.


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