Arc and Judge Grants Class Action for Medicaid Eligible Children
Federal Judge Grants Class Action
for all Medicaid-Eligible Children Under the Age of 21 who have been Diagnosed
with a Mental Health or Behavioral Disorder
in the State of Illinois
Attorneys Robert H. Farley Jr., Michelle N. Schneiderheinze and Mary Denise Cahill
have secured a major court ruling in the litigation against the State of Illinois for failing to
comply with federal law which requires all Medicaid eligible children up to the age of 21 to
receive diagnostic and treatment services to address their behavioral or emotional or
mental health disorders.
On February 13, 2014, United States District Court Judge John F. Tharp, Jr., in N.B.,
et. al., v. Hamos, Case No. 11-6866, ruled that the lawsuit filed by nine Medicaid-eligible
youths (under age 21) who have been diagnosed with various mental illnesses and/or
emotional or behavioral disorders, including developmental disabilities can proceed as a
class action against the State of Illinois.
Judge Tharp certified the class defined as follows:
All Medicaid-eligible children under the age of 21 in the State of Illinois:
(1) who have been diagnosed with a mental health or behavioral disorder;
and (2) for whom a licensed practitioner of the healing arts has
recommended intensive home- and community- based services to correct
or ameliorate their disorders.
The lawsuit against the State of Illinois alleges that the Illinois Medicaid program fails
to meaningfully provide intensive community-based residential or outpatient care for children
with mental illness and emotional or behavioral disorders, instead over-relying on hospitals to
provide temporary acute care, followed by grossly inadequate outpatient services consisting
of little more than medication management and one hour per week of counseling.
Judge Tharp has scheduled a status hearing on this case on March 13, 2014.