US Sues Florida for Institutionalizing Children: Suit Reveals Home and Community-Based Services Deficiency
August 12, 2013 08:33 AM
On July 22, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit (the Complaint) against the State of Florida in the United States District Court, alleging the state violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by placing nearly 200 disabled children (the Children) in nursing homes, when less restrictive home and community based services (HCBS) would have been more appropriate.
The Complaint accused Florida of limiting HCBS options for the Children by “1) enacting policies and engaging in practices that have resulted in the denial or reduction of medically necessary services; 2) failing to provide sufficient reimbursement rates for in-home nursing services; 3) failing to ensure sufficient capacity in its HCBS waiver programs; and 4) failing to ensure there is sufficient capacity in non-institutional, out-of-home settings that are able to service children with significant medical needs.”
The Complaint alleges an increasing trend of institutionalization among Florida’s disabled children, the consequences of such institutionalization, as well as underlying factors explaining the increased institutionalization and decreased utilization of HCBS in this population.
The National Council on Medicaid Home Care – a NAHC affiliate – has analyzed this case in-depth. To read the full report, please click here.