Landmark Mass. Brain Injury Settlement Could Put 2,000 in Community Care
Posted Aug 14, 2008 6:09 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
An unprecedented settlement between Massachusetts and an advocacy group could eventually help 2,000 brain-injured patients from nursing homes to community care.
Among them is 29-year-old Kaya Alexander, who has lived in a nursing home since a 2006 auto accident left her partially paralyzed, and desperately wants to be back among people her own age, reports the Boston Globe. "This place makes me wish I was dead," she tells the newspaper.
Under the settlement, a greater share of Medicaid funds would be alloted to pay for community care. Until now, the federal and state health care program generally would only pay for the intensive care that brain-injured patients like Alexander need within a nursing home setting.
"This is a landmark case for brain injury nationwide," says Arlene Korab, executive director of the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts, which brought the federal class action suit in the Western District of Massachusetts. "We are the first brain injury association—and there are 47 across the country—who have successfully litigated and won."
More information about the proposed settlement is provided in a press release (PDF) from the advocacy group. U.S. District Judge Michael Ponsor is expected to approve it soon after a Sept. 16 hearing in the case.