Fla. enhances program for disabled children

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Posted: Monday, February 11, 2013 10:44 pm

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - Florida will assign care coordinators to about 1,600 children with disabilities amid allegations from federal health officials that the state was cutting in-home services and essentially forcing kids into nursing homes.

The coordinator will ensure children who receive private duty nursing have access to services to keep them at home. The Agency for Health Care Administration said Monday it will begin the transition within 90 days.

The changes come months after federal health officials accused Florida of violating federal law by allowing more than 200 children with disabilities to be kept in nursing homes.

A lawsuit filed on behalf of more than a dozen children echoes similar complaints.

Critics said care coordinators are designed to control costs and urged the state to let children's doctors decide what services are necessary.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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