US government sues Florida for putting disabled children in nursing homes

Lawsuit: Policy led to unnecessary segregation

MIAMI - The U.S. Justice Department is suing Florida, accusing the state of unnecessarily keeping children with disabilities in nursing homes.

The lawsuit filed Monday says federal officials visited six nursing homes around the state and identified about 200 children who didn't need to be there and could receive care at home.

Federal officials concluded that the state has made it difficult for disabled children to get medical services that would allow them to move home. The lawsuit says Florida's system has led to unnecessary segregation and isolation of children, often for years.

The federal government had threatened a lawsuit in September if the state failed to make changes to the system.
State health officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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