State officials settle lawsuit to keep disabled out of nursing homes

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Government initiatives aim to decrease number of disabled people in nursing homes
Government initiatives aim to decrease number of disabled people in nursing homes
Louisiana health officials will ask the federal government for 200 waivers that would allow disabled Medicaid recipients to receive long-term personal care services, according to the terms of a settlement.

In 2010, Louisiana's Department of Health and Hospitals put a 32-hour per week cap on the number of hours that disabled individuals could receive personal care services. A class action lawsuit brought by Medicaid beneficiaries argued that the limit violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and could force elderly and disabled people into nursing homes, the Associated Press reported.

Under terms of a settlement, DHH said it would ask the government to sign off on 200 additional waiver slots that will be available for those who have not yet received one. Disability advocates called the settlement a “win-win.”