Advocates' Challenge to Adult Day Process Denied

by David Gorn

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A federal judge ruled last week to deny a motion that would have forced the Department of Health Care Services to alter the way it is handling enrollment in the new Community Based Adult Services program.

The ruling means CBAS enrollment will continue without changes unless Disability Rights California, the health advocacy group that filed the motion, appeals the ruling. Deadline for appeal is Friday.

"The federal Magistrate recommended full denial of the plaintiffs’ motion regarding their concern with the state’s implementation of the Adult Day Health Care settlement agreement," Norman Williams, director of public affairs for DHCS, said in a written statement.

"The motion addressed numerous important aspects of the implementation process. In each case the Magistrate found that the state has proceeded in an appropriate manner, acted in good faith, and was fully compliant with the settlement agreement," Williams wrote.

In her ruling issued Nov. 20 U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley decided against all four of DRC's complaints. She ruled quality reviews of eligibility by DHCS are legal and that any delays in the eligibility hearing decisions did not violate the agreement.

"The Court is also not persuaded that Defendants' actions have violated … access and capacity [requirements]," Corley wrote.

Williams said the judge's decision is one more step in the successful implementation of the CBAS system. "We look forward to continuing our work with the plaintiffs to implement the settlement agreement and provide vital health care services through the Community-Based Adult Services program," Williams wrote.

Ken Esrailian
We are a CBAS Center and we have so many new challenges that going back and complaining about issues that were important in the past does not have any relevance any more. It is unfortunate that the judge did not consider any changes. However, we are so far into the implementation of the CBAS program, managed by the Managed Care Plans, that there is no path to return to or ask for any major changes. At this juncture I hope that all advocates including Disability Rights attorneys will put more emphases on the implementation of new CBAS program through Managed Care Plans, transition of Medi-Cal beneficiaries to Managed Care plans, educating Doctors to prevent their refusal to see Medi-Cal patients, and availability of care after transitions. It is very hard for CBAS Centers to operate in the new environment, but eventually they will adapt. However, the advocates must pay more attention on the cooperation of State, Managed Care Plans, Providers, and Beneficiaries
Debbie Toth
If I wasn't in the court room, I wouldn't have believed it myself. It is my educated guess that the previous judge, the Honorable Sandra Brown Armstrong, would have considered the damage - loss of life and institutionalization - much more compelling than this judge. She was simply without compassion. It was a sad day for very frail elders. I hope the state sees this and continues to partner with Centers to ensure no further harm is done - even though a judge seems to not be bothered by it.

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