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Boies, Schiller & Flexner Commences Trial to Enforce Federal Medicaid Rights for Children
Date:12/7/2009

NEW YORK, Dec. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Representing the estimated 1.4 million children in Florida eligible for Medicaid, a team of Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP (BS&F) attorneys began trial today in Miami before US District Judge Adalberto Jordan. The case seeks to require State of Florida officials to bring Florida's Medicaid program for children into compliance with federal law.

The federal Medicaid Act provides children with a right to preventative health care and treatment services known as Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT), which includes regular examinations, immunizations, lead paint screens, dental care and treatment as needed. The Act requires that EPSDT services be provided to children on Medicaid with "reasonable promptness" and it mandates that children on Medicaid have "equal access" to health and dental care as provided to children with private insurance. Federal law also requires that states conduct outreach to effectively inform eligible children and their families about their rights under Medicaid.

BS&F partner Stuart Singer, who is leading the litigation, said, "It's very disappointing that in Florida the Medicaid program for kids has chronically fallen short of meeting these federal requirements. The state's own statistics show several hundred thousand children receive no preventative health care visits at all, that only around 20% of the required lead blood screens are conducted, and that there is an acute shortage of specialists willing to treat Medicaid patients." Stuart also noted, "With respect to dental care, the situation is, if anything, worse, with recent studies ranking Florida last or next to last in the entire country. The Florida legislature has for years rejected proposals from state administrators to increase reimbursement rates for healthy kid checkups, for specialists, and for dentists, so the situation is deteriorating further."

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SOURCE Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP
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