A lawsuit brought five years ago by “K.W.,” an Idahoan with disabilities, against the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, has been settled. The state agreed to make changes to its model for providing services to adults with disabilities.
U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill approved the settlement Thursday, saying it was “fair, reasonable and adequate” under the law. The settlement was announced last year but required the court’s final approval.
The lawsuit challenged the state’s plans in 2012 to cut Medicaid reimbursement for certain types of care to adults with disabilities. The cuts threatened the ability of those Idahoans to obtain care in their communities, lawyers from ACLU of Idaho argued.
Rulings in federal district court and the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the past five years have blocked the payment cuts, restored budget levels, required the state to publicly disclose how it determines the budget for the program for thousands of adults with developmental disabilities, and required the state to change its system.
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After the court order to change the system, the parties reached the new settlement, which lays out a multiyear process to overhaul the system for determining how much service people will receive.