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Autism class-action lawsuit filed over denial of treatment

Lana Bandoim's picture
Autism class action lawsuit

A class-action lawsuit has been filed in Hawaii because a mother claims her autistic son is being denied treatment. Suzanne Egan is the parent in the suit and shares she is struggling to afford care on her own. She believes the Department of Human Services has violated the law by not helping her child.


Suzanne Egan shares that her autistic son has serious disabilities and needs behavioral treatment. Unfortunately, her financial situation does not allow her to pay for these services without outside help. However, she mentions that the Hawaii Department of Human Services is refusing to provide Medicaid coverage for the services.

Hawaii News Now reveals that Egan has filed a class-action lawsuit and has the support of the Hawaii Disability Rights Center. They believe that the Department of Human Services is not paying attention to federal rules that force states to provide Medicaid coverage for autism services. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has addressed this problem because of multiple violations seen around the country.

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Egan wants her son to receive the Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) treatment and is worried the delays in getting him help will affect him later in life. She is not able to get the ABA treatment without the intervention of Medicaid coverage, so the lawsuit is her last hope. The Hawaii Disability Rights Center is trying to assist her cause.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reminded states that they must provide Medicaid coverage to children with autism including the ABA treatment. However, Hawaii and other locations have argued that it costs too much to finance these services for all autistic children who qualify for Medicaid. Some states have tried to illegally deny services to kids who were higher functioning. In Egan’s case, her son has severe disabilities, and he still cannot receive the care he desperately needs.

Read more about autism:
Medicaid coverage of autism services ordered by CMS
Police handcuff autistic boy and force him to stay on top of squad car trunk

Image: walknboston/Wikimedia Commons