State News

Judge blocks NC personal care service rules

Posted December 8, 2011

N.C. Department of Health and Human Services

— A federal judge has blocked North Carolina's Medicaid office from implementing rules for personal care services that a lawsuit contends has led more than 2,400 people to lose paid assistance at home for things like cooking, bathing and dressing.

U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle issued a preliminary injunction on Wednesday that prevents a new policy based on a 2010 state law from being carried out while it's being challenged in a lawsuit. The people who sued argue the new restrictions treat people living at home differently from those receiving similar services in adult care homes, which would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Disability Rights North Carolina said the ruling filed Thursday hopefully will force the state to set better policies to help people continue living at home.

“We are thrilled with Judge Boyle’s decision. He confirmed our position that the state’s policy pushed people toward institutional settings,” Vicki Smith, executive director of Disability Rights North Carolina, said in a statement.

A spokesman for the state Medicaid office says it's reviewing the ruling.


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  • bill0 Dec 9, 2011

    Republicans have lost the debate on healthcare. They aren't even pretending that the goal is to provide quality care to all anymore. And yes, that is the goal. They could win when they were talking about reducing the cost of that care, but eliminating care for disabled people is just a losing position.

    And - Of course we shouldn't set up standards for care that provide services ONLY if you leave your home and go into an institution. Besides being against federal law, it is just bad policy. It is cheaper, and better for everyone, if the elderly and disabled stay in their own homes. Nobody wants the government to force them into a nursing home, so we shouldn't be asking the government to do that to someone else.

  • mswayze Dec 9, 2011

    I think this judges actions are a step in the right direction, but from the comments that are posted- Marie Antoinettes- "let em eat cake" seems the attitude of the day.

  • Mean Old Mom Dec 8, 2011

    If NC Congress passed the law in 2010 and did not allocate funds for these services, who ends up footing the bill, the Judge?

  • Rebelyell55 Dec 8, 2011

    You cannot continue to put every drug addict and alcoholic on disability.
    December 8, 2011 4:13 p.m.
    Fact check, if drug or alcohol is a contributing cause of a disability, you can't get disability.

  • warbirdlover Dec 8, 2011

    People with disabilties are treated like second class citizens. They are the most discriminated against group in the US. I know of people whom worked hard all their life, and got hurt and unable to work, and everyone thinks that they are Drug Addicts or something. I hope none of you ever get hurt.

  • abylelab -BT- Dec 8, 2011

    discrimination 101: you can't treat two people with the same "condition" differently.

    guess that means next year they'll just cut funding for both...