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WASHINGTON — A federal judge has declined to block a $1.6 billion cut to hospital payments under Medicare’s so-called 340B program, which lets some facilities buy discounted drugs. The cut takes effect Jan. 1.

The ruling came in response to a Trump administration motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the American Hospital Association and some not-for-profit and public hospitals earlier this year. Judge Rudolph Contreras said that his court doesn’t have jurisdiction to rule on the issue because the plaintiffs did not first exhaust the Department of Health and Human Services review process for their complaint, as Medicare statute requires.

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