The Legal Team of Robert H. Farley, Jr., Mary Denise Cahill, Alysha Briggs-Miller and Michelle N. Schneiderheinze, have filed a Federal Class Action Lawsuit against the State of Illinois on behalf of approximately 1,000 medically fragile children seeking to prevent the State of Illinois from eliminating or reducing their existing Medicaid benefits.
Since 1985 and prior to the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the State of Illinois has been able to successfully provide to medically fragile children up to the age of 21, home and community based services to allow them to remain in their own homes rather than in an institutional setting. However, effective September 1, 2012, the State of Illinois is unraveling 27 years of community based services to medically fragile children by making draconian cuts to Medicaid services to all medically fragile children which puts them at risk of institutionalization in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Rehabilitation Act and Medicaid.
The State of Illinois is placing the medical fragile children at risk of institutionalization by disqualifying families whose income cannot even approach the annual yearly cost of their in-home medical care. The State of Illinois is also capping the level of skilled nursing services (registered nurse or licensed practical nurse) based on a nursing facility level of care even though the children have been found by the State and their doctors to require a hospital level of care. The net effect of the cap on skilled nursing will eliminate approximately 50% of the in-home skilled nursing hours, even though the child’s medical condition has not changed.
The State of Illinois has previously attempted to cap or limit skilled nursing services to medically fragile children over the age of 21 without success, and to date there are Court Orders preventing the State of Illinois from imposing those reductions on medical fragile children over the age of 21 in the federal court case, Hampe v. Hamos, No. 10-3121 currently pending in Chicago, IL.
The Plaintiffs and Class members will be seeking a Preliminary Injunction to prevent the State from eliminating and reducing the current Medicaid benefits for the medically fragile children prior to September 1, 2012.
The United States Department of Justice is currently involved in the class action lawsuit concerning the State’s attempt to cut services for medically fragile children over the age of 21 years in Hampe v. Hamos. The Plaintiffs and Class members in this case have reached out to the United States Department of Justice seeking their assistance to prevent the State of Illinois from cutting services for the medically fragile children under the age of 21 years.
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423