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NC advocates sue for people with disabilities

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- North Carolina advocates for patients with
developmental disabilities say more than 600 children and adults
are losing critical Medicaid services because of how a managed care
provider in the southern Piedmont is calculating levels of need.

Disability Rights North Carolina said Tuesday it and other
groups filed a federal class action lawsuit for Medicaid consumers
against Piedmont Behavioral Health Care and state Health and Human
Services Secretary Lanier Cansler.

Piedmont Behavioral covers Rowan, Davidson, Stanly, Cabarrus and
Union counties.

The lawsuit contends Piedmont Behavioral used hard-to-understand
rules to reduce or eliminate services July 1 without giving
patients a chance to challenge decisions. The advocates want
services restored until changes are made.

A spokeswoman for Cansler said the department must be focused on
appropriate levels of care when money is tight.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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