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Louisiana finally implements Olmstead decision

Jan. 27, 2004 -- Last week, Louisiana's 200,000 Medicaid recipients began receiving notice from the state that they would not have to automatically enter a nursing home when they began to need asssistance. The state, after years of wrangling, finally began allowing people a choice in where to receive assistance -- in their homes or nursing homes.

A story in the Jan 23 Baton Rouge Advocate notes that "residents should begin receiving services sometime next month." (Read story.)

Advocate state government reporter Marsha Shuler has been following this story for several years. It began when The Advocacy Center, the state's Protection and Advocacy program, sued the state for failing to provide services in the community as well, following the Supreme Court Olmstead decision. "The lawsuit, Barthelemy v. Hood, charged the state with unconstitutionally forcing the elderly and disabled into nursing homes because of a lack of home and community care," wrote Shuler in her Jan. 23 story.

The nursing home industry fought the change. A report issued shortly before the settlement noted that 93 percent of Louisiana's budget for long-term care goes to support nursing homes. That's about $600 million per year. LA nursing home industry lobbyist Joe Donchess told reporters state does not provide enough money to keep nursing homes operating and urged lawmakers to resist settling the suit. (More on the report).

But the suit was settled shortly thereafter, in summer, 2001. Read about the settlement.

Read Marsha Shuler's story

Contact Marsha Shuler

Visit the Advocacy Center website. Contact Advocacy Center attorney Nell Hahn (337) 237-7380.





The following sites contain information that may be of interest. Please bear in mind that the information at these sites is not controlled by the Center for An Accessible society. Links to these sites do not imply that the Center supports either the organizations or the views presented.
Consumer Choice and Control:
Personal Attendant Services and Supports in
Report of the National Blue Ribbon Panel on
Personal Assistance Services, August, 1999

Directory of Publicly Funded Personal Assistance Programs from the World Institute on Disability

"Understanding Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services: A Primer" -- from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, available at

Information on Home & Community-Based, Consumer-Directed, and Personal Assistance Services from the Office of Disability, Aging and Long-Term Care Policy at the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services


How States' "Nurse Practice" Acts work against consumer direction -- from the January, 1999 Ragged Edge magazine






Expert sources

Nursing home data

Abuse of seniors under-reported, says study

Nursing home data

Abuse of seniors under-reported, says study

The Institutional Bias of Public Policy

Consumer Direction in Personal Assistance

Study Validates Consumer Control's Superiority

In-Home Services and Safety

In-home services: Implementing the Olmstead decision

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