September 15, 2011

New York State Settles Federal Lawsuit Challenging Placement of Mentally Ill Patients in Nursing Homes

On September 6, 2011, New York State entered into a settlement with Disability Advocates, Inc. in resolution of the federal lawsuit, Joseph S. et al. v. Hogan, which challenged the placement of mentally ill patients in nursing homes.

Under the terms of the settlement, no person with a serious mental illness may be placed in a nursing home until that person first receives a revised PASRR Level evaluation and a Level II evaluation is performed.  The State is also required to assess whether current nursing home residents identified as suffering from a serious mental illness can be appropriately transferred to a community housing setting, and if so, the nursing home will be required to initiate discharge planning to the most integrated appropriate community housing.

The State has agreed to pay to plaintiffs’ counsel $2.5 million in attorney’s fees incurred in connection with the litigation.

The settlement does not directly impact the federal lawsuit pending before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals relating to supported housing to individuals with mental illness residing in adult homes, Disability Advocates, Inc. v. Cuomo.

A copy of the Stipulation and Order of Settlement is available here.

This post was contributed by Charles Dunham.