Posts Tagged ‘Elizabeth Dudek’

Sun-Sentinel: Get Disabled Children Out of Nursing Homes

July 29, 2013

South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial

If Pearl Buck was right, and “the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members,” Florida got a failing grade this week.

The U.S. Justice Department filed suit Monday against the state, accusing it of violating the federal Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to do enough to keep children with disabilities in Florida from being sent for care to nursing homes for the elderly. The department’s lawsuit called it “deliberate indifference to the suffering” of those children.

The head of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, Liz Dudek, called the lawsuit “disruptive” and accused Washington of wanting to take over the state’s Medicaid and disability programs. Seriously?

The Justice Department says it spent six months investigating the plight of disabled kids in Florida nursing homes before calling on the state last September to do more to give their families the option of care at home or in community-based settings. The department filed suit after concluding that it couldn’t count on the state to comply voluntarily. (more…)

Contract Signing Ceremony Commemorates Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Roll-Out

May 6, 2013

Tallahassee, Fla.— The Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) has been working diligently toward transforming Florida Medicaid since mid-2011 when the legislation that created the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care program became law. The Agency, in partnership with the Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA), achieved a critical milestone today as Secretary Liz Dudek executed contracts with each of the seven health plans selected to provide services via the SMMC Long-term Care program.

“The signing of these contracts solidifies the commitment from each health plan to deliver high quality services to the approximately 85,000 elderly or disabled Floridians statewide who will be enrolled in the Long-term Care program,” said Agency Secretary Liz Dudek. “The Agency has been conducting targeted outreach to recipients, providers and stakeholders, and we look forward to beginning to provide long-term care services in this new way starting August 1 for those in the greater Orlando area and then working our way around the state.” (more…)

DOJ Proposes Overhaul of Florida’s Program for Disabled Children

January 11, 2013

By Carol Marbin Miller & Toluse Olorunnipa, The Miami Herald

TALLAHASSEE – In a new and even harsher indictment of Florida’s treatment of severely disabled children, federal civil rights lawyers have issued a comprehensive blueprint for overhauling the state’s system of care for frail youngsters.

The 17-page “settlement proposal” by the U.S. Justice Department demands the state stop slicing in-home nursing services for frail youngsters, stop ignoring the requests of family doctors who treat disabled children and stop sending hundreds of children to geriatric nursing homes — where they often spend their childhoods isolated from families and peers. (more…)

Miami Herald: Slammed for ‘Warehousing’ Children in Nursing Homes, State Pitches Changes

January 11, 2013

Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration has launched an “enhanced care” program in response to scathing criticism about the treatment of hundreds of disabled children who are kept in nursing homes.

The “Enhanced Care Coordination” program will enlist at least 28 nurse care coordinators throughout the state to work with families of disabled children and the nursing homes where they are being treated. (more…)

State Recovered $50 Million in Medicaid Fraud

January 4, 2013

By James Call, The Florida Current

Florida spent nearly $17 million fighting Medicaid fraud in a 12-month period ending June 30 and had a net recovery of $50 million. That’s according to the annual Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Report, released Thursday by Attorney General Pam Bondi and Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Liz Dudek. The fraud investigations resulted in 69 arrests and warrants. (more…)

Miami Herald: How Florida Limits Care for Disabled Kids

January 2, 2013

By Carol Marbin Miller, The Miami Herald

 Christian Perez 13, who is medically complex and disabled, with his father Alex Perez at their home in Westchester this Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2012.

In a drab, cramped conference room in Doral, a 45-year-old single mother is fighting with the state to secure in-home nursing care for her severely disabled daughter — while the 10-year-old fights for her life.

The mother sits across a wooden table from a state hearing officer who will decide whether health regulators were right to insist she get 18 hours each weekday of nursing care for her daughter, and fewer on the weekends, instead of the 24 hours her daughter’s pediatrician says are necessary. As her expert witness — a registered nurse — testifies, the woman’s daughter begins to cough, then vomit, then struggle for breath as her breathing tube becomes clogged. The hearing stops as the child’s mother and the nurse suction the girl’s tube, then clean, change and console her.

Generally lacking in such drama, hearings like the one that occurred Dec. 14 are held hundreds of times each year in Florida as the parents of severely disabled and medically fragile children battle state health administrators for nursing care and services for their children. Without such care, some of the youngsters will end up in nursing homes, something the 10-year-old’s mother is trying to avoid. (more…)

A Florida Mom’s Lonely Fight for Her Disabled Son

December 28, 2012

By Carol Marbin Miller, The Miami Herald

Tereza Pereira had cared for her woefully disabled son at home for most of his life. But she was in her 50s now, working two jobs to stay afloat, and state health administrators had repeatedly refused to pay for enough in-home nursing care to keep Bryan safe.

Pereira wanted her teenage son to live at a place called Baby House, a small group home for medically fragile children and young adults, with a long track record of treating children like Bryan as family. His care would have cost the state $300 per day there.

State health and disability administrators had a different plan: For $200 more each day, Bryan would live in a nursing home. (more…)

Florida Vows to Stick Fewer Kids in Nursing Homes, Place Stronger Emphasis on In-Home Care

December 13, 2012

By Carol Marbin Miller, The Miami Herald

Florida’s top healthcare administrator is vowing to keep as many medically fragile children as possible at home with their parents — and to improve the lives of those who remain in nursing homes — amid an outcry over hundreds of children living in institutions designed for frail elders.

Liz Dudek, who heads the state Agency for Health Care Administration, outlined a series of new policies on Wednesday to help the parents of severely disabled children care for their kids at home. The new policies also are contained in a memo written Tuesday by Justin Senior, AHCA’s deputy secretary for Medicaid, the insurance program for needy and disabled people. (more…)

Liz Dudek: Help Exists for Medically Needy Children

December 7, 2012

By Liz Dudek

The state believes strongly that individuals, especially Florida’s most medically fragile and medically complex children, deserve to be cared for in the least restrictive setting that can best serve their medical needs.

In recent months, there has been an abundance of misinformation about the availability of Medicaid services for children. Here are the facts: (more…)

AHCA Secretary Dudek Battles Allegations of Children in Nursing Homes

November 20, 2012

The secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration is trying to quell questions about the placement of disabled children in nursing homes, saying a meeting between state and federal officials reinforced her view that Florida has not violated any laws, reports Jim Saunders of the News Service of Florida.

“I feel even stronger about the fact that we are in compliance,” AHCA Secretary Liz Dudek said in an interview. (more…)