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Hospitals notch a Supreme Court win

Hospitals that treat low-income patients won a long-fought victory yesterday at the Supreme Court.

Details: The court threw out Medicare's attempt to cut payment rates for disproportionate share hospitals, which treat a large number of low-income patients.

  • Medicare had changed its payment formula without soliciting public comments. The court, in a 7-1 decision, said that shortcut was illegal.

Why it matters: The ruling itself is a big win for safety-net hospitals, who would have taken a pretty steep pay cut under the change Medicare tried to make.

  • Other parts of the industry could also benefit over time. Generally, the more Medicare has to do through notice-and-comment rulemaking, the more chances industry groups will have to fight proposed payment cuts.

Go deeper: Read the ruling