State Cannot Reverse Cuts to In-Home Care Program, Officials Say
California officials say computer programming issues will make it impossible for the state to comply with a court order blocking scheduled budget cuts to the In-Home Supportive Services program, the Sacramento Bee reports.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken issued a temporary restraining order barring the state from sending notices to 130,000 IHSS participants scheduled to lose some or all services starting Nov. 1.
Wilken issued the order in response to a lawsuit filed earlier this month by disability and eldercare advocates, as well as unions representing care providers. The suit challenges the formula used to determine which IHSS participants would lose services.
Despite the court order, IHSS officials say they cannot immediately undo the service reductions because they already have programmed them into their computer system.
Lizelda Lopez, spokesperson for the Department of Social Services, said the state's attorneys on Monday will submit a statement from information technology contractors affirming that reversing the programmed budget cuts will require significantly more time.
Lopez also said that if officials do not send out the scheduled notices, they could violate a state law requiring program participants to receive 10 days' notice of any cuts to services.The plaintiffs said they plan to ask Wilken to keep the restraining order in place until the suit is settled (Ferriss, Sacramento Bee, 10/16). 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.