SPECIAL NEEDS, MEDICAID,
THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE WHERE YOU LIVE
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has issued a potentially landmark decision in Pashby v. Delia, upholding the rights of disabled North Carolina residents to choose where they want to
live. An article can be found in Healthlaw.org HERE.
The plaintiffs in the suit were challenging North Carolina’s refusal to pay for personal care attendant services through Medicaid unless such services were provided in an adult care home. The plaintiffs claimed that the State’s policy unfairly shuffled them into institutional care settings rather than permitting them to remain in their own homes, a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The State had claimed that an Adult Care Home was not an institution, but the Court rejected this claim. The Court also rejected the State’s claim that budgetary constraints were a legitimate reason to require such services to be provided only in an institutional setting, such as an adult care home. The Court stated that, “Although we understand that the North Carolina legislature must make difficult decisions in an imperfect fiscal climate, the public interest in this case lies with safeguarding public health rather than with assuaging North Carolina’s budgetary woes.” The Court’s decision can be found HERE.