Disability Rights California is close to settling its adult day health care lawsuit against the California Department of Health Care Services, according to a joint release from the two parties.
Today’s scheduled federal court date has been moved to Thursday, by mutual agreement. But according to the joint statement, the court date may not be necessary.
“This brief court date postponement is necessary to enable the parties to finalize a settlement, the details of which will be available on Thursday,” the release said.Â
DHCS officials declined to comment further because litigation is still pending.
This is the first glimmer of legal hope providers of adult day health care have seen in a while. ADHC is due to be eliminated as a Medi-Cal benefit for 35,000 Californians on Dec. 1, a change expected to force most of California’s 300 ADHC facilities to close.
The hope for the settlement is mixed with apprehension, though, since no one in the ADHC community really knows what the settlement will look like. The settlement will not alter elimination of the benefit, but it could change the manner of the transition of care for Medi-Cal beneficiaries.
“We’re hopeful that this is good news, but of course no one knows until we see the settlement,” Lydia Missaelides of the California Association of Adult Day Services said. “But I do take it as a positive sign.”
Missaelides was in San Diego yesterday for the first day of the CAADS annual conference of ADHC providers. She said that it has been an uncertain and scary time for ADHC but that there have been many other positive signs along the way.
“Just look at the recent San Francisco rally (on Oct. 20) with Mayor Ed Lee,” Missaelides said. “He made ADHC one of the issues in his campaign.”
Missaelides said the best signs for her have come at the centers themselves. “I’ve seen these providers go to work every day under these trying circumstances. It’s a testament to their commitment to serving these folks,” she said. “Nobody gave up, that’s the most positive sign, because they believe in what they’re doing.”
“This is it for now,” she said. “We just have to wait and see, for just a couple more days.”