Children struggling to get in-home care they need

Posted at 6:23 PM, May 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-28 21:23:39-04

San Diego (KGTV) - Thousands of kids across California approved for in-home nursing care are struggling to get the help they desperately need.

On Thursday two children filed a class-action lawsuit against the California Department of Health Care Services and its director claiming the state has failed to fulfill its commitment to provide them with sufficient Medi-Cal in-home nursing services.

It says, “this class action lawsuit asks the Court to order Defendants to take all steps necessary to arrange for previously-approved, medically necessary in-home shift nursing services for Plaintiffs and Class members.”

According to the lawsuit plaintiff, Ivory N. is a seven-year-old and a Medi-Cal beneficiary. It says the child needs 63 hours per week of skilled nursing at home but only receives about 56 hours per week.

The non-profit group, Disability Rights California, says more than 4,000 Medi-Cal eligible children have been approved by the state to receive Medi-Cal in-home nursing care, but the state lacks an effective system for arranging for needed nursing.

"It’s too bad that a lawsuit had to be filed, but they are right to file it because right now that need is not being met,” said California State Assemblyman Brian Maienschein.

In 2017 Maienschein tried to get the problem fixed through legislation. He believes the state is not following through on its promises to the kids.

“It was a significant victory last year that we were able to get money in the budget, but they are still not following through on the promises they made,” he said.

According to a news release from Disability Rights California, “29 percent of authorized Medi-Cal nursing hours go unstaffed.”