Monday, November 07, 2011

Settlement Prompts Fear About Cuts to Medicaid

See the article by that title published by the Times this weekend.  It begins:
When New York City agreed to pay $70 million this week to settle accusations of fraud in a program intended to take care of disabled people at home, it seemed like a victory for the disabled.

But now, in a letter sent late Thursday to federal law enforcement and Medicaid officials, dozens of organizations representing disabled people are saying there is a dark side to the settlement. They say that as a result of the deal, the city is telling elderly clients that it intends to reduce or discontinue 24-hour services like bathing and toileting that have kept them at home and out of a nursing home.

Their complaint, like the litigation, raises thorny public policy questions about how much money should be spent on services to those who are disabled. The federal government had accused the city of approving expensive Medicaid coverage for in-home attendants when patients would have been appropriately served by cheaper care in a nursing home. The city settled the case this week for $70 million.

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