BREWER – Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems is joining a lawsuit to try to stop the federal government from implementing drug payment cutbacks it says would be dangerous for low-income patients.

The hospital system says its lawsuit seeks to prevent the federal Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from reducing payments for medications purchased through a pharmaceutical discount program.

The system says three of its members participate in the program and stand to be negatively affected by cutbacks. They are Aroostook Medical Center in Presque Isle, Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor and Inland Hospital in Waterville.

EMHS joins the American Hospital Association, Association of American Medical Colleges and America’s Essential Hospitals in the lawsuit. It says the lawsuit’s about maintaining care for uninsured and low-income patients.

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