‘A lot of our plaintiffs have died waiting to get out of the nursing home’

Several hundred nursing home residents are plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit alleging that the District has failed to comply with a federal mandate to move eligible and interested Medicaid recipients out of nursing homes.

News Story (District of Columbia)

Tara Bahrampour
Washington Post
September 4, 2016

Tags: Disability Rights, Nursing Homes

Organizations mentioned/involved: University Legal Services (DC) (ULS)


The suit, filed in 2010 by University Legal Services, AARP Foundation Litigation and the private law firm of Arent Fox, is scheduled to go to trial Sept. 13. It contends that an estimated 500 to 2,900 people with disabilities are “unnecessarily institutionalized in nursing facilities, segregated and isolated from their families and friends. These individuals desperately want to return to their communities.”

Surveys consistently show that older people prefer to stay in their homes for as long as they can, and federal and local government policies have increasingly moved in that direction. A 1999 Supreme Court ruling said that public entities must provide community-based services to people with disabilities whenever possible and that unnecessarily institutionalizing them is a form of discrimination.