ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – An Anchorage Superior Court Judge has ruled the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services may have falsely conjured an emergency to enact Medicaid payment cuts.

The Anchorage Daily News reported Monday that a judge ruled a lawsuit against the state raises “serious and substantial questions” regarding the emergency finding.

The Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association’s July lawsuit says the department unlawfully declared an emergency to cut Medicaid payments to health care providers by up to 7%.

DHSS Commissioner Adam Crum issued an emergency finding in June allowing almost immediate rate cuts while circumventing some of the public input process usually required.

Crum’s finding says the emergency was a result of Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s 2020 fiscal budget significantly underfunding the Medicaid program.

Crum is a Dunleavy appointee.

Information from: Anchorage Daily News,