Senior United States District Judge Roger Vinson of Pensacola, Florida sent the private practice physical therapist community into greater uncertainty Monday January 31st by overturning the Individual Mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare).
Vinson's court Order Granting Summary Judgement granted the plaintiff's motion against the defendant, the UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES ruling the following:
"...a Declaratory Judgment shall be entered separately, declaring “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (PPACA) unconstitutional."How might Vinson's ruling upset the provider apple cart?
Early Adopters of Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) may now feel like we're "too early".
The Federal rollout of alternative, bundled payments for hospitalizations for specified conditions such as total joint replacements, heart procedures and episodes of pneumonia has had providers nationwide scrambling to find the right path to position ourselves with the right partners.
Now, it seems all this maneuvering was premature.
Unlike the first partial defeat of PPACA, Vinson's ruling threw out the whole law - ACOs included.
In Virginia, Federal court Judge Henry Hudson found the Individual Mandate unconstitutional but left the remnants of PPACA, including support for ACOs, intact.
Two federal courts have now ruled against the PPACA while two courts have ruled for the Act.
Fourteen other courts have dismissed lawsuits against PPACA.
The appeals process should last eighteen months until the Vinson and Hudson decisions wind up in the Supreme Court where court watchers have called it a split-decision.