Federal judge throws out AMA's PATH lawsuit

Claiming that the plaintiffs have not yet exhausted "all administrative options and possibilities," a U.S. District Court judge in California has thrown out the American Medical Association and Association of American Medical Colleges' lawsuit against the federal government to end the Physicians at Teaching Hospitals (PATH) initiative.

An AAMC spokesman says that while the plaintiffs in the case are disappointed by the judge's ruling, they stress that the reason for the dismissal was "based on timing and did not address the merits of the case."

In response to the dismissal, AAMC president Jordan J. Cohen, MD, reaffirmed his organization's contention that the PATH audits are unfair and "in need of an overhaul." He added that once the judge's written ruling is available the AAMC, AMA, and other complainants will evaluate whether to pursue an appeal.

The ruling does not affect a separate PATH lawsuit filed recently by the Greater New York Hospital Association.