Arkansas can’t reduce a Helena-West Helena woman’s Medicaid benefits until it issues an adequate notice explaining why it plans to do so, a federal judge ruled Friday.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge D. Price Marshall Jr. came after a three-day trial in the Phillips County city over a lawsuit by Jonesboro-based Legal Aid of Arkansas on behalf of 90-year-old Ethel Jacobs, who has Alzheimer’s disease.
The lawsuit contends that the state Department of Human Services’ use of an assessment tool known as the ArPath has resulted in arbitrary reductions and terminations of home-based Medicaid services for the elderly and disabled.
The department has used the tool since 2013 to determine recipients’ eligibility for home-based services, and since January to determine the number of hours of service a recipient can receive.
Through early May, about 47 percent of the 2,600 Medicaid recipients who had been assessed had their hours reduced, according to …
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Medicaid cuts inadequately explained