2 lawsuits filed against Florida Medicaid

March 15, 2012 at 12:25 PM
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla., March 15 (UPI) -- Florida Medicaid faces two lawsuits brought by families who object to the state confining disabled children in nursing homes rather than paying for home care.

The first lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale, alleges Florida Medicaid illegally warehouses roughly 250 sick and disabled children in nursing homes, as opposed to providing coverage so the children can receive care at home with their families, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Wednesday.

The second suit says about 3,300 at-risk children remain at home without needed care due to the fear they will be forced to live in a nursing home.

Both lawsuits say Florida Medicaid is violating the Americans With Disabilities Act and the 1999 U.S. Supreme Court decision Olmstead vs. L.C., which concluded states are required to offer care to the mentally disabled in the least restrictive setting possible.

Officials at the state Agency for Health Care Administration declined to comment to the Sun Sentinel.

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