State plans for medical assistance under federal Medicaid law must comply with certain requirements located in Title 42 U.S.C. § 1396a.4, but do not always do so. In 2018, the United States District Court for the District of Alaska in the case of Disability Law Center of Alaska v. Davidson denied a motion for summary judgment on three claims alleging that Davidson who in her position as the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services had violated federal Medicaid law.
The violations of which the Center was accused were: failure to provide adequate notice on how to apply for and access applied behavioral therapy, not reimbursing for ABA under the program, and not providing ABA services under the program with reasonable promptness. In arriving at its decision, the court noted that the Disability Law Center had the burden under federal law of establishing that Davidson had deprived them of the following rights: the right to notice of availability of ABA services, the right to be reimbursed for ABA therapy, and the right to have ABA therapy provided.
The court’s subsequent decision subsequently supported the position that any state that has elected to participate in federal Medicaid programs must be prepared to provide services identified under the federal statute as mandatory. This case underscores the right that many individuals in the United States have to Medicaid benefits.