Tuesday, May 15, 2012

News on North Carolina-DOJ Olmstead Settlement Negotiations

See this story from WRAL, which begins:
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services could end up paying millions of dollars to avoid a lawsuit over alleged violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act, state lawmakers learned Tuesday. 
State health officials briefed the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee for Health and Human Services on Tuesday about the progress of the months of negotiations with the U.S. Department of Justice. 
The issue stems from a justice department report last summer that found that the state's mental health system needlessly institutionalized thousands of mental health patients, segregating them from the community and impeding their interaction with people who do not have disabilities.
Just to be clear, the money this story is talking about is not money to be paid out as damages but instead the money that will be necessary in the short term to restructure the state's mental health system.  Over the long run, the state is likely to save a substantial amount of money by moving to a more community-based system.

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