A federal class action lawsuit filed against New York State health officials alleges that officials are mishandling Medicaid home care services by cutting services for those who need them most, the New York Times reports.
Three plaintiffs are named in the lawsuit filed against the state commissioners of the Department of Health and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance — an impaired 84-year-old woman living alone in Manhattan, an 18-year-old Brooklyn man with severe congenital disabilities, and a 65-year-old Manhattan man with diabetes and a schizoaffective disorder. The lawsuit was filed in United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
However, New York Legal Assistance Group brought the lawsuit on behalf of tens of thousands of disabled Medicaid beneficiaries who need home health care or help with daily tasks like bathing and eating, New York Times reports.
The lawsuit challenges Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Medicaid overhaul, which shifted $6 billion in public spending on long-term services, including home care, to private managed care companies that are paid a fixed sum for each enroll.
“The goal of the overhaul, which was set in motion in 2011, was saving money and improving the coordination of care,” New York Times writes. “But advocates for aged and disabled people have complained that in the scramble for the most lucrative enrollees, companies are shunning frail people with the greatest needs and signing up those who could be given minimal services.”
A spokesperson for the health department tells the New York Times it does not comment on pending litigation.
Lawsuit plaintiff Janie Taylor, 84, has diabetes, high blood pressure and other health issues. Taylor alleges the amount of time an aide spent with her was cut in half from 10 to five hours a day without any notice, and appeals to the health department were unfairly denied.
“Her aide used to fix her dinner and help her prepare for bed. Now, ‘I sleep in my clothes,’ [Taylor] said,” New York Time reports.
Ben Taylor, a lawyer of no relation to the plaintiff, tells New York Times such cases are common of many who are suffering as a result of the shit to managed care.
Read the New York Times article “Medicaid Home Care Cuts Are Unjust, Lawsuit Says” here.
Written by Cassandra Dowell