I.N. v. Kent

Class action settlement gets final court approval in lawsuit challenging California’s failure to arrange for Medi-Cal in-home nursing care for children with disabilities.
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More than 4,000 children across California have been approved by the state for Medi-Cal in-home nursing care. Yet, many of these hours go unfilled, placing an enormous strain on families, and resulting in an unacceptable risk of medical complications, hospitalizations, and placements outside the family home.

In a class action lawsuit filed on May 24, 2018 against California’s Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), two children – I.N. and J.B. – challenged the state’s failure to arrange for in-home nursing care the state itself has determined they need. Their claims were based on 1) federal Medicaid law requiring states to ensure that child beneficiaries actually receive all approved medically necessary services, including in-home nursing; and 2) the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires states to provide services to individuals with disabilities in integrated settings.

The parties reached a settlement in the case in February 2019. On September 30, 2019, the Court granted final approval of the settlement.

Under the settlement, DHCS will designate managed health care plans, California Children’s Services (CCS), and/or HCBA Waiver Agencies as case management service providers for class members and will require those providers to help class members obtain in-home nursing. DHCS will oversee this case management, and will also establish an email address that families can contact if they have questions or concerns about their in-home nursing or case management. The settlement agreement is here.

Case Name: I. N., a minor, by and through her guardian ad litem, Zarinah F.; J. B., a minor, by and through his guardian ad litem, Alisa B., and on behalf of all others similarly situated v. Jennifer Kent, Director of the Department of Health Care Services; California Department of Health Care Services.

Court and case number: Northern District of California, Case Number 3:18-cv-03099.

Co-Counsel: Western Center on Law and Poverty, National Health Law Program, and pro bono counsel Allen L. Lanstra, Richard Schwartz, and Rachael Shiffman.

Significant Court Documents:

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