A class-action lawsuit that alleges Florida’s Medicaid program has denied coverage for incontinence supplies for adults with disabilities is moving forward, radio station WMNF reported April 10.
U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard cleared the way for the lawsuit, which was filed in July on behalf of two women who said the state violated federal laws, including Medicaid and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The women received incontinence supplies, such as briefs, diapers and underpads, until they turned 21, according to the report.
“Plaintiffs are medically fragile adults each with bladder and bowel incontinence,” the lawsuit said. “As low-income Florida residents with significant disabilities, they receive their health services through Florida’s Medicaid program. Plaintiffs’ physicians have prescribed certain incontinence supplies, including briefs and underpads, as medically necessary to treat plaintiffs’ incontinence, keep their skin dry and clean, prevent skin breakdowns and infections and maintain their ability to live in the community.”
The state has fought the lawsuit, saying the Medicaid program operates under regulations approved by CMS.
“[The state] has a comprehensive, effectively working plan for providing qualified individuals with necessary services to prevent unnecessary institutionalization,” the state said in a court document. “Alternatively, any relief the court deems necessary should be limited to narrowly address the harm before it and not unnecessarily affect defendant’s otherwise comprehensive, effectively working plan for the delivery of Medicaid services that has been reviewed and approved by CMS.”
It is unclear how many people are affected by potential cutoffs, but the judge’s March decision estimated at least 480 Medicaid beneficiaries a year turn 21 and lose coverage for incontinence supplies.
The trial is scheduled for January, the report said.