Disability Rights New Mexico (DRNM) and The Arc of New Mexico have just obtained a court-approved agreement that will halt further cuts in DD waiver services to people in SIS groups A and B. The agreement with the Human Services Department and the Department of Health will continue the current service plans for all DD Waiver participants in groups A and B who have not yet transitioned to their new service plans. This should protect any people whose health and safety would be at risk if their services were reduced to the limited package in group A or B.
People in other SIS categories who feel their health and safety are at risk due to service limitations in those categories can apply for category H services, which are intended to provide more extensive and individualized services. They also may appeal if the application is denied.
The freeze on service cuts is the latest development in a lawsuit, Waldrop et al. v. New Mexico Human Services Department, et al., that was filed earlier this year by DRNM, The Arc, and eight individual plaintiffs. On August 18, a three-day hearing will begin in federal court on plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction that would prohibit arbitrary limitations on services based on the state’s restructured Medicaid waiver program. The agreement freezing service cuts will remain in place until the judge rules on that request, or until December 31, 2014, whichever comes first.
If you’d like to read the agreement, go to DRNM’s website, drnm.org, and click on the link provided in the story.