Wash. settles youth mental health care lawsuit

Published On: Aug 30 2013 06:06:58 PM PDT
OLYMPIA, Wash. -

The state has agreed to make significant changes to the way it provides mental-health care to the most troubled children and youth who qualify for Medicaid.

The Seattle Times reported Friday that a settlement was reached Thursday between the state Department of Social and Health Services and attorneys who filed a class-action lawsuit in 2009. The suit alleged the state wasn't providing sufficient care for young people at risk for being placed out of their homes because of mental illness or emotional disorders.

The settlement, which didn't disclose costs, calls for intensive in-home and community-based care.

Up to 6,000 children and youth under 21 will be served each year when the program is fully implemented, according to a joint statement from the state and the plaintiffs.