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 Article of Interest - Medicaid

Ruling won't force in-home Medicaid

by Laura Potts, December 25, 2002

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Ingham County Circuit Judge Peter Houk has upheld a ruling saying Medicaid is not required to pay for medical services for people living in their own homes.

The ruling, released Friday, means people with mental, physical and developmental disabilities and other long-term medical needs can get Medicaid funding in a nursing home or other institutional setting, but not necessarily in their own homes. The state is considering new guidelines that could allow those funds to be used for in-home care on a discretionary basis.

The decision also means people have no due process if they are denied funding. Since Medicaid does not require the state to fund in-home services, people cannot appeal through the Medicaid Fair Hearing process.

Attorney Patricia Kefalas Dudek of Bloomfield Hills appealed an earlier ruling made by Administrative Law Judge Patrick Ketner in May.

Dudek is seeking more state funding for her client, John Sullivan of Marlette, who is unable to speak or move on his own since he was struck by lightning in 1985. She said she is considering other legal options for additional funding.

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