Disability Rights Advocates File Suit Against Los Angeles County To Block Planned Rancho Los Amigos Closure
Disability rights advocates yesterday filed a lawsuit that seeks class-action status on behalf of 5,000 Medi-Cal beneficiaries against Los Angeles County to block the planned closure of the Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, a move that they allege would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws, the Los Angeles Times reports (Richardson, Los Angeles Times, 3/7). The county Board of Supervisors in January voted to close Rancho Los Amigos to help cover a budget deficit in the county health care system; the board estimated that the move would save the county $58.6 million in 2004 and $65 million to $70 million in future years. Rancho Los Amigos provided specialized rehabilitation services to 2,600 inpatients and 8,700 outpatients in 2001 (California Healthline, 1/30). The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, maintains that a number of Medi-Cal beneficiaries who receive treatment at the facility have no other treatment options. As a result, the lawsuit argues, closure of Rancho Los Amigos would violate the ADA and other disability rights laws. State and county health officials said that they have not reviewed the lawsuit and did not comment on the case (Los Angeles Times, 3/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.