Federal Judge Certifies Class Action Against the State of Michigan Medicaid System for Failing to Provide ABA Therapy to Children With Autism
DETROIT, Sept. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — A federal judge today denied a motion to dismiss a suit challenging Michigan’s failure to provide Medicaid coverage for applied behavior analysis therapy (ABA) for autistic children. The plaintiffs in the case of Minter v. Dazzo, case no. 10-cv-15018, sued the state of Michigan claiming that the state is violating the federal Medicaid law by not making ABA available to autistic children through Medicaid. Today, Judge Stephen Murphy of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan allowed the case to continue by denying the State’s motion to dismiss. The court found that the plaintiffs presented evidence creating a question for trial of whether the state is providing coverage for ABA and whether it is effectively informing Medicaid participants of their right to receive reimbursement for ABA.
The court also granted the Plaintiffs’ motion to certify the case as a class action. The court held that the question of whether the state violated the Medicaid Act by failing to provide coverage for ABA therapy “is precisely the sort of question that is appropriate for class certification.”
ABA therapy is the most effective therapy for treating autism in children. The U.S. Surgeon General has found that “30 years of research demonstrated the efficacy of applied behavioral methods in reducing inappropriate behavior and increasing communication, learning and appropriate behavior.” Numerous authorities have long found that ABA is a scientifically valid treatment for children with autism, including the United States Surgeon General, the National Institute of Mental Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and a study commissioned for both the Medicare and Medicaid systems. Moreover, 26 states mandate insurance coverage for ABA therapy.
The plaintiff class is represented by the law firms Mantese Honigman Rossman and Williamson, P.C., and John J. Conway, P.C.
Contact for the plaintiffs’ attorneys is as follows:
Mantese Honigman Rossman
and Williamson, P.C.
1361 E. Big Beaver Rd.
Troy, MI 48083
(248) 515-6419 – (cell)
John J. Conway
John J. Conway, P.C.
2662 Woodward Ave, Ste 225
Royal Oak, MI 48067
(313) 574-2148 – cell
SOURCE Mantese Honigman Rossman and Williamson, P.C.