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A nurse checks a patient's IV medication. Photo: Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A federal district court judge has ruled in favor of hospital lobbying groups and ordered the Trump administration to stop its policy that slashed the payments hospitals receive for outpatient drugs.

Why it matters: This permanent injunction is a major victory for the hospital industry, which fought hard to reverse the cuts and consequently will retain billions of federal dollars in future years.

The details: Hospitals, led by the American Hospital Association and other trade groups, sued the Trump administration last year after a new regulation finalized cuts to the federal 340B drug discount program.

  • The rule, which went into effect this year, slashed hospitals' drug payments by almost 30% — resulting in $1.6 billion in lost revenue for the industry.
  • Judges previously dismissed the hospitals' complaints, arguing they sued before the cuts were effective and thus hadn't suffered any harm.
  • However, the latest ruling said hospitals have now felt the cuts, and the Department of Health and Human Services did not have the legal authority to implement the policy.

Looking ahead: Hospitals said they were "immeasurably pleased" with the ruling. However, they will not be able to recoup the money they lost this year.

  • Instead, over the next two months, the judge asked the hospital groups and the federal government to suggest an "appropriate remedy."
  • A spokesperson for HHS said the agency is "disappointed with the court's ruling and [is] evaluating next steps."

Go deeper

Updated 37 mins ago - Health

WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Health measures taken to combat COVID-19 before the emergence of Omicron would also help against the new variant of concern, World Health Organization officials said Friday.

What they're saying: Takeshi Kasai, WHO regional director for the Western Pacific, said during a virtual briefing broadcast from Manila, Philippines, that border controls imposed by the U.S. and other nations can "buy time" to deal with the variant, but warned "every country and every community must prepare for new surges in cases."

2 hours ago - Health

Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Nevada's Public Employees' Benefit Program Board voted Thursday to charge workers enrolled in public employee health insurance plans a surcharge of up to $55 a month if they're not vaccinated against COVID-19, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state to announce such a move, per AP.

Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin testifies before a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Sept. 29 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool via Getty Images

The state of Oklahoma filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration on Thursday in an attempt to block the enforcement of its vaccine mandate for federal employees.

Why it matters: The move comes one day after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin denied Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt's (R) request to exempt the state's National Guard from the mandate.