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Class Action Status Sought For Disabled Kids In Florida

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File photo of judge and gavel in courtroom. (credit: Chris Ryan/GettyImages)

File photo of judge and gavel in courtroom. (credit: Chris Ryan/GettyImages)

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MIAMI (AP) — Attorneys are seeking class action status in a lawsuit that alleges state health officials are violating federal law by unnecessarily warehousing hundreds of children with disabilities in nursing homes.

Lawyers asked a federal judge Tuesday to include current and future Florida Medicaid recipients under the age of 21 living in nursing facilities or at risk for such placements.

The state has repeatedly said it provides all the medically necessary services to children and that parents ultimately make the decision about placement.

Earlier this year, the Department of Justice sent a letter to Florida officials saying investigators visited children in nursing homes around the state who didn’t need to be there.

Federal officials concluded the state has made it difficult for children to get medical services allowing them to move home.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This
material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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