We recently reported on a lawsuit brought by the Massachusetts Senior Action Council and seven institutionalized individuals in Massachusetts against MassHealth for violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act for failure to provide them with the benefits necessary to leave the nursing homes in which they live. We have since learned of another lawsuit recently filed, this one against Health and Human Services for failure to provide Medicare home health benefits mandated by law.
The case, Johnson, et al. v. Bercerra (U.S. Dist. Ct., D.C., Civil Action No. 1:22-CV-03024) was filed as a class action by the Center for Medicare Advocacy. According to a press release issued by the the Center, “The plaintiffs are three individuals and two organizations. While Medicare law authorizes coverage for up to 35 hours per week of home health aide services for personal, hands-on care, the plaintiffs have struggled to obtain anywhere close to that. Although they need and qualify for Medicare-covered home health aides, they have received either very minimal or no such aide services at all. They face serious health consequences as a result.”
The Center also reports that “Medicare-covered home health aide visits declined by 90% from 1998 to 2019.”
As we know, tens of millions of Baby Boomers will need care beginning in about 10 years. We’re far from ready to provide that care, whether at home or in assisted living or skilled nursing facilities. These lawsuits are two steps towards providing the right care today and getting ready for the future.