The Washington state Department of Social and Health Services will have to pay about 22,000 in-home healthcare workers almost $96 million.
Wash. state ordered to pay $96 million to in-home caregivers
Thurston County Superior Court Judge Thomas McPhee issued the order almost a year after a jury awarded the workers $57 million in back pay. McPhee added more than $38 million in interest.
DSHS spokesman Thomas Shapley said the agency needed to wait for McPhee's order and will now move ahead with an appeal of the verdict.
The workers sued after the state decided in 2003 to cut payments by 15% to Medicaid beneficiaries who had caregivers living in their home, many of them relatives. The state argued that taxpayers shouldn't have to pay in-home caregivers for tasks they would perform for their own households.
The state Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that the cuts violated federal Medicaid law stating all beneficiaries should be treated equitably. The state restored the payments but did not pay back clients and providers for the four years of lost benefits.
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