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Hepatitis C Lawsuit

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) may be changing its coverage requirements for Direct Acting Antivirals or DAAs as part of an agreement to settle a lawsuit. This webpage provides beneficiaries and potential class members with information about the lawsuit and proposed settlement.

What is the lawsuit about?

A Medicaid beneficiary asked MDHHS to cover a DAA and MDHHS denied that request. This beneficiary filed a lawsuit and said that MDHHS was not following federal guidelines for DAA coverage. The case is called M.R v. Lyon, and the case is No. 17-cv-11184.

Both sides agreed to settle the lawsuit, but a judge has to approve the settlement before it can to go into effect.

Copy of the proposed settlement

What could change as part of the settlement?

MDHHS may change the way it looks at fibrosis scores when deciding whether to cover DAAs for people on Medicaid. A fibrosis score measures damage to the liver. Starting October 1, 2018, people with a fibrosis score of F1 or higher would have access to DAAs even if they don’t have other health problems. On October 1, 2019, MDHHS would expand this further to include people with a fibrosis score of F0 or higher.

Other requirements for DAA coverage would still apply. MDHHS would also update its DAA approval form and pay attorney fees and costs.

What happens next with the proposed settlement?

MDHHS is sending letters to potential class members about the lawsuit and the proposed settlement.

Copy of the first letter to potential class members

As part of the proposed settlement, the parties have also agreed that Plaintiffs’ counsel will receive attorney fees and costs.  The parties have filed a motion for fees and costs. A copy of this motion can be found here.  Check back here for further updates.

Members of the class can comment on, object to, or support the proposed settlement, attorney fees and costs. Judge Denise Page Hood will hold a final hearing on the proposed settlement on August 8th, 2018 at 3:00pm at the following place:

Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse
231 W. Lafayette Blvd., Room 733
Detroit, MI 48226

Class members can go to the hearing, and can bring a lawyer with them at their own expense. Individuals who want to speak at the hearing have to tell the judge in writing before the hearing. Class members can also send comments to Judge Denise Page Hood in writing.

If a person wants to speak at the hearing or send any comments, the judge has to get a letter before July 17, 2018.  Letters to the judge must be sent to:

Chief Judge Denise Page Hood
Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse
231 W. Lafayette Blvd., Room 730
Detroit, MI 48226

The person also has to mail a copy of the letter to all of the lawyers in this case at the following addresses:

Dickinson Wright, PLLC
c/o Aaron V. Burrell
500 Woodward Ave., Suite 4000
Detroit, Michigan 48226

Joshua S. Smith
Assistant Attorney General
Health, Education & Family Services Division
525 W Ottawa St Fl 3
PO Box 30758
Lansing, MI 48909

Class members can also do nothing. Doing nothing means that person will still be a member of the class.

Check back here for more information on the settlement. For questions about the settlement, contact Aaron V. Burrell of Dickinson Wright, PLLC, at 312-223-3500.