By Michael Virtanen
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Bill Liblick was shocked to learn that his sister, a disabled woman with the mind of a 1-year-old, had repeatedly been sexually assaulted at a state-run group home. Then, after her death, he was astonished again when he received a $1.6 million bill from the state for the cost of her care.
Liblick says it was a coldhearted attempt by the state to get its hands on the money her estate eventually won in a lawsuit over her abuse.
But other experts said states have wide discretion in deciding whether to pursue such claims, noting that the law contains exceptions for various hardship situations. And they questioned the ethics of clawbacks for care that was abusive or deadly.
“Those particular facts are not something I’ve heard about in other states,” said Michelle Lilienfeld, senior attorney in Los Angeles with the National Health Law Program, which works for health care access. Read the full article here. »