Appeals court dismisses TennCare lawsuit

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A federal appeals court has thrown out a 15-year-old legal agreement that mandate regular medical and dental care for the 750,000 children on TennCare, more than a third of all children in the state.

The Tennessean reported the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in an opinion published Thursday voided an agreement mandating compliance with federal requirements governing the state's version of Medicaid. The consent decree arose out of a 1998 lawsuit alleging that children were not getting regular checkups.

Last year, a federal judge ruled that the state was in substantial compliance and dismissed the case.

Michele Johnson, an attorney with the Tennessee Justice Center that originally filed the suit, disagreed and said she was "painfully aware that TennCare continues to shortchange some children."

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