The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration is pushing back against a U.S. Department of Justice letter that accused the state of warehousing disabled children in nursing homes, calling the allegations “unfounded and inaccurate,” in a statement reports the News Service of Florida.
“The decision of where a child receives care is up to the parents, in conjunction with the child’s doctor,” AHCA Secretary Liz Dudek said in a statement sent to the news media late Friday. “The Agency will never interfere with a family’s choice for the location of their child’s care. The Agency uses a professional, rigorous, federally-approved, quality control system to ensure every family receives the appropriate level of care for their child.” The Department of Justice sent a letter last week to Attorney General Pam Bondi accusing the state of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. DOJ said an investigation showed that children with disabilities were kept in nursing homes unnecessarily for lengthy periods of time, limiting educational opportunities and interactions with family, friends and peers.
Dudek’s statement said DOJ did not allow the state to review or respond to the letter before it was released. “The Agency provides for every conceivable Medicaid service, whenever they are medically necessary, in unlimited amount and duration for children under 21,” Dudek said. “This includes no limit on any medically necessary home health and personal care assistance.”