DOJ Sues Florida for Failing to Provide Care Opportunities for Disabled Children
July 24, 2013 | Risk Management News
The U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) civil rights division has filed a lawsuit against the state of Florida for allegedly violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to provide adequate funding and programs for frail and disabled children to receive care at home or in locations other than nursing homes, states a July 22, 2013, Miami Herald article. Last year, federal regulators expressed their concerns to Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) that the state’s system of care for frail and disabled children may be discriminatory (see the September 12, 2012, HRC Alerts), but according to the article, the state has since made only halfhearted reforms and the discrimination has persisted. The lawsuit alleges that the state’s actions, such as cutting funds for community care programs while increasing nursing home reimbursements and increasing the limits on how many children are permitted per nursing home, have resulted in a dramatic increase in the amount of children who are forced to grow up in nursing facilities.