ACCESS TO CARE: Fresenius v. Becerra (U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 8:19-cv-02130)
This case challenges the constitutionality of Assembly Bill (A.B.) 290 (Wood 2019), which requires organizations providing charitable premium assistance to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients to comply with several new administrative and substantive requirements. Significantly, the law requires these organizations to disclose to a health plan or insurer the name of any enrollee on whose behalf it is providing premium payment assistance. It also limits reimbursement to any provider that has made a charitable contribution to an organization or fund through which the providers' patients receive premium assistance and benchmarks that reimbursement to the Medicare rate. Plaintiffs in this case are dialysis providers who argue that the law is unconstitutional and, if implemented, will result in irreparable harm to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients and their providers. The plaintiffs sought a preliminary injunction to stop the law from becoming effective on January 1, 2020. On November 19, 2019, CMA filed a brief in support of the plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction, detailing how the law would adversely impact patient access to care for ESRD patients and destabilize the dialysis and renal care market in California if it went into effect. On December 30, 2019, the district court, citing and relying on CMA's amicus brief, issued a preliminary injunction that stops the law from being implemented until the case is fully adjudicated.