Friday, May 25, 2018

children - mental health disabilities - S.R. v. DHS - MD Pa. 2018


S.R. v. Dept. of Human Services – M.D. Pa. – March 23, 2018

DHS motion to dismiss denied in case brought by a plaintiff class of “all Pennsylvania youth under the age of 21 who, now or in the future, are adjudicated dependent and have diagnosed mental health disabilities.”   

Plaintiffs alleged that there have been “systemic failures in the Pennsylvania Child Welfare and Medical Assistance programs. “

Section 1983
Counts I and II are brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (“Section 1983”).    In Count I, Plaintiffs allege that Defendants have violated Title XIX of the Social Security Act (“Title XIX” or the “Medicaid Act”), 42 U.S.C. § 1396a(a)(10)(A) and 1396a(a)(43)(C). Title XIX, Section 1396a(a)(10)(A) requires a state plan for medical assistance to “provide for making medical assistance available” to a list of enumerated eligible individuals. Section 1396a(a)(43) 5 requires the state plan to “provide for informing all persons in the State who are under the age of 21 and who have been determined to be eligible for medical assistance . . . of the availability of early and periodic screening, diagnostic, and treatment services.” Section 1396a(a)(43)(C) requires the plan to provide for arranging those Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (“EPSDT”) services.

In Count II, Plaintiffs allege that Defendants have violated Title XIX, Section 1396a(a)(8), which requires a state plan for medical assistance to “provide that all individuals wishing to make application for medical assistance under the plan shall have the opportunity to do so, and that such assistance shall be furnished with reasonable promptness to all eligible individuals.”

Americans with Disabilities Act
In Count III, Plaintiffs allege that Defendants have violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12131(2), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (“Section 504” or “RA”), 29 U.S.C. § 794, and their respective implementing regulations. Plaintiffs allege that the Defendants’ policies and practices fail to provide them with mental health services in the most integrated setting appropriate, and fail to afford equal access to other services to achieve stability and permanency based on their disabilities or the severity of their disabilities.

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