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Indiana Medicaid agency faces lawsuits from families regarding the attendant care program



Indianapolis, Indiana – On Friday, the families of multiple children with complicated medical needs filed a federal lawsuit in an attempt to halt the planned modifications to Indiana’s attendant care program.

The action, which was filed on behalf of two families whose children have several serious medical conditions, requests that a federal judge prevent the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) from denying parents enrollment in the attendant care program starting on July 1.

“FSSA has failed in its duty under federal Medicaid law to ensure that the individual plaintiffs and (Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services’) other constituents receive skilled services that are necessary to ensure that their medical needs are met and that they are able to continue residing safely and securely in the community,” attorneys wrote.

The filing is the most recent development in the dispute over the program for attendant care. Reimbursement is given by the program to caregivers of medically complicated patients.
Medicaid service provider agencies are compensated under the attendant care program at a little over $34 per hour, and they split this sum with the individuals who actually give the patients’ care. Parents are currently eligible for reimbursement under the program. Instead, as of July 1, parents will need to sign up for the structured family caregiving program, which pays out a maximum of $133 per day in reimbursement. If parents wish to keep using the attendant care program, they would have to give up daily care of their kids to a nurse or other professional.

Families with children who have complicated medical needs have been advocating for months to stop the shift from happening. Parents reported that the attendant care program enabled them to support their family while caring for their children around-the-clock earlier this year. Many have claimed that entrusting a nurse with their children’s daily care is ineffective because their kids frequently need live-in care and they would have to educate staff members on what to do in the event that the nurse left to take a different position.

The lawsuit alleges that because the FSSA’s actions would essentially force parents to institutionalize their children, the agency violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. Additionally, the plaintiffs claim that the FSSA’s provision that forbids participants in the structured family caregiving program from utilizing attendant care services amounts to a denial of care that is medically required.

According to FSSA officials, the organization stays silent on ongoing legal disputes.

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