On January 27, 2000, a group of elderly, physically disabled, and developmentally disabled individuals filed a lawsuit under the Medicaid Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Rehabilitation Act against the State of Arizona and the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. Plaintiffs, represented by public interest attorneys, asked the Court for injunctive relief, claiming that they were not receiving adequate services. Specifically, Plaintiffs claimed that they were often subject to gaps in service because Defendant did not employ an adequate number of caregivers.
The Court (Judge Earl H. Carroll) certified a class action on August 7, 2000.
On August 13, 2004, the Court issued findings of fact, conclusions of law, and an order. Ball v. Biedess, 2004 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 27044 (D. Ariz. Aug 13, 2004). Specifically, the Court ordered: that AHCCCS provide individuals with services for which that person qualifies without gaps in services; that the AHCCCS program must develop contingency plans for instances when a service cannot be provided; that the AHCCCS program must offer a rate of pay to health care workers so that services can be adequately delivered; that AHCCCS program need not offer a particular rate of pay, but just a rate that guarantees each individual will receive the services for which he qualifies; that AHCCCS must monitoring its program so that contingency plans can be implemented; that AHCCCS implement a grievance process for individuals receiving services; that AHCCCS inform each of its members of his rights; and, that parties file proposed deadlines for complying with the order.
On July 17, 2007, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part the District Court's order. Ball v. Rodgers, 492 F.3d 1094 (9th Cir. 2007). In light of the recently decided Sanchez v. Johnson, the Court reversed the District Court's finding that Medicaid Act § 1396a(a)(30)(A) (the equal access provision) conferred individual rights enforceable under § 1983; thus, Arizona was not liable for violating the equal access provision under § 1983. On remand, the Court directed the District Court to consider the causes of action under the Medicaid Act's free choice cause of action, as well as Plaintiffs' ADA and Rehabilitation Act claims
On April 24, 2009, the District Court found that Arizona was liable under the Medicaid Act's free choice provisions (42 U.S.C. §§ 1396n(c)(2)(C) and (d)(2)(C)). Ball v. Rodgers, 2009 WL 1395423 (D. Ariz. Apr. 24, 2009). Further, the Court found that Defendants were liable under the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act.
After a June 1, 2009, status conference, the Court issued an order on June 3, 2009, that detailed the results of that status conference. First, the Court clarified that the injunction was permanent, that Defendants would be required to file monthly reports until the Court determined they were no longer necessary, and that the Court would retain jurisdiction for whatever period necessary for enforcement purposes.
On March 8, 2010, the Court ruled on the parties' motions to modify the injunction. The Court: granted in part and denied in part Plaintiffs' motion to modify the injunction; denied Defendants' motion to modify or vacate the injunction; and, ordered Defendants to establish a hotline to allow individuals to report a gap in service.
Defendants have filed monthly reports. There has otherwise been no further litigation in the case, and it was closed in May 2010.Haley Waller - 01/19/2010