Washington State to Boost Care for Medicaid Youths

In what all sides hailed as a landmark agreement, the state of Washington has agreed to fundamentally change the way it provides mental-health care to the most troubled children and youth who qualify for Medicaid.
August 30, 2013

In what all sides hailed as a landmark agreement, the state of Washington has agreed to fundamentally change the way it provides mental-health care to the most troubled children and youth who qualify for Medicaid.

The settlement, which calls for intensive in-home and community-based care, was reached Thursday between the state and attorneys who filed a class-action lawsuit in 2009. The federal suit alleged the state wasn’t providing sufficient care for young people at risk for being placed out of their homes because of mental illness or emotional disorders.

The defendant in the lawsuit was the state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).

Jane Beyer, assistant secretary for the DSHS Behavioral Health and Service Integration Administration, said the settlement meets the desire of the plaintiffs to keep young people out of foster homes and inpatient treatment and allow them to receive support from their families and the community.

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