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Federal Judge Issues Order to Approve Consent Decree in G.D. v Lumpkin


JANUARY 7, 2011: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Federal Judge Issues Order to Approve Consent Decree in G.D. v Lumpkin
Improves access to Medicaid information and programs for children

COLUMBUS, January 7, 2011 -- Federal Judge Michael H. Watson of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, issued an order approving a Consent Decree in partial settlement of the G.D. v Lumpkin lawsuit. The terms of the Consent Decree for this class action lawsuit filed by Ohio Legal Rights Service (LRS) in 2005 are effective immediately and will benefit thousands of children in Ohio and their families seeking Medicaid information and services.

JANUARY 7, 2011: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Federal Judge Issues Order to Approve Consent Decree in G.D. v Lumpkin
Improves access to Medicaid information and programs for children

COLUMBUS, January 7, 2011 -- Federal Judge Michael H. Watson of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, issued an order approving a Consent Decree in partial settlement of the G.D. v Lumpkin lawsuit. The terms of the Consent Decree for this class action lawsuit filed by Ohio Legal Rights Service (LRS) in 2005 are effective immediately and will benefit thousands of children in Ohio and their families seeking Medicaid information and services.

The partial settlement will have a system-wide impact that improves access to information about services provided through the Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) program, the child health component of Medicaid. Under the terms of the Consent Decree, the director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) will:

1) modify administrative rules regarding notification of EPSDT services and the development of informational materials;
2) modify managed care agreements to clarify managed care organizations' obligations under EPSDT;
3) distribute periodic notifications about EPSDT;
4) update information on websites about EPSDT; and
5) conduct training and education for state and county EPSDT staff.

Kristin Hildebrant, LRS supervising attorney and lead counsel said, "The partial settlement of this case will help to ensure that more Medicaid eligible children and their families understand the availability of this critical health care program and its expanded benefits to children, including that children can get services and items under Medicaid that are not available to adults."

While the Consent Decree is a positive development in this case, the partial settlement does not include the medical necessity issues in the lawsuit. The parties will continue to litigate the issue of whether the definition of medically necessary services in Ohio Administrative Code conflicts with federal laws regarding coverage of EPSDT treatment services and results in the denial, to Ohio children eligible for Medicaid, of treatment services to which they would be entitled under federal law.

G.D. v Lumpkin is a class action lawsuit LRS, as co-counsel with Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE), filed against ODJFS pursuing claims on behalf of Ohio's children who have been denied access to the EPSDT program. The lawsuit alleges ODJFS violates federal Medicaid law because it does not have a system in place that allows Medicaid eligible children to apply for and receive necessary treatment services from the EPSDT program. LRS and ABLE are awaiting certification of the proposed class by the court.

LRS is an independent agency of the State of Ohio. LRS is designated under federal law as the system to protect and advocate the rights of people with disabilities and as the Client Assistance Program under the Rehabilitation Act. The mission of LRS is to protect and advocate, in partnership with people with disabilities, for their human, civil and legal rights.

ABLE is a non-profit regional law firm that provides free legal services that promote systemic change that primarily benefits large groups of low-income people in the areas of civil rights and poverty law. ABLE programs and advocates provide specialized legal assistance using both advocacy and litigation. With offices in Toledo and Dayton, ABLE serves 32 counties of western Ohio. ABLE's Migrant Farmworker and Immigration programs serve all 88 Ohio counties.

If you would like more information about the lawsuit or to read the Consent Decree, visit www.olrs.ohio.gov or contact Thomas Hemmert at 614-466-7264 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .