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Written by: Michael Bolton on Wednesday, February 9, 2011 Posted in:

The St. Petersberg Times yesterday reported on a federal lawsuit over how Florida treats its nursing home residents.

The Southern Legal Counsel is suing the State of Florida under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) alleging that Florida’s Medicaid program too often relies on nursing homes instead of bringing services to people’s homes violating the ADA’s requirement that states integrate people into their communities.

The state of Florida shows that nearly 50,000 Floridians are living at home or in assisted living centers through Medicaid funding with about 45,000 in nursing homes.  The state also claims that nursing home growth has been stagnant while community-based living has grown at a good rate – demonstrating success helping people stay in their homes.

However, the lawsuit claims that the State is not doing enough and is pushing the State to further expand its at-home programs.  The lawsuit alleges that many Medicaid clients currently housed in nursing homes could be transferred to community homes and that the failure to move them is discrimination.

This trial is likely to get very interesting…you can read more about this heated debate in: Trial pitting nursing home residents against Medicaid begins.

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