New Hampshire sued over lack of in-home care options

A lawsuit against New Hampshire's Department of Health and Human Services has been granted class-action status and will move to trial, the New Hampshire Bulletin reported Dec. 4.

The lawsuit, filed in 2021 by three advocacy groups, alleges that the health department put elderly and disabled residents at severe risk of entering a nursing home by providing less in-home care than was deemed necessary.

The program at the center of the lawsuit, Choices for Independence, provides nearly 3,800 residents with basic care and services to allow them to remain at home. Earlier this year, the program told lawmakers it could not afford to continue working without significant rate increases from the state. The increases were granted in October to address workforce shortages, but the rates may not address all the program's shortcomings, according to the report.

The lawsuit alleges the department failed to sufficiently monitor and support the private agencies it licensed to plan and provide Choices for Independence services. It also alleges the agency does not sufficiently track service gaps.

The state attorney general's office, which represents state agencies in court, declined the Bulletin's request for comment. 

The case is set to go to trial in March, the report said.

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