Seattle PI: MLP helps kids get care at home

Friday, January 8, 2016

In a victory for chronically ill Washington children, a federal judge in Seattle ordered that the state is required to provide nursing services to children insured through Medicaid to help keep them at home. The Washington Medical-Legal Partnership was instrumental to the case.

Federal judge: State must get ‘vent kids’ home

By Levi Pulkkinen

“A public interest attorney representing the children contended the state Health Care Authority has failed to provide in-home nursing care that would enable the ventilator-dependent children to live with their families instead of in hospitals or group homes. In-home care is cheaper for the state and safer for the children, but, due in part to low pay rates to nursing providers, has been hard to come by.

Five children and their families sued the state in September in an effort to force a change. One of the children has since died, but dozens of other young Washington children appear to face a similar threat of unnecessary hospitalization.

In a lengthy decision issued late Thursday, U.S. District Judge James Robart found that the state is required to provide nursing services to the children, who are insured through Medicaid, a public insurance program.”

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