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June 28, 2021Lawsuit

Settlement of Lawsuit Gives People with Mobility Impairments Greater Access to their Communities

For Immediate Release

June 28, 2021

Press contact:

Kelly Darr, Legal Director
Disability Rights Pennsylvania
(215) 238-8070 ext. 221

Settlement of Lawsuit Gives People with Mobility Impairments Greater Access to their Communities

Harrisburg, PA | Following a class-action lawsuit filed by Disability Rights Pennsylvania, removable medical equipment, such as wheelchair ramps, wheelchair lifts, ceiling lifts, and stair glides, is now covered under Medicaid for children and adults with mobility impairments.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of a class of children in June 2018, B.B. et al v. Miller, 1:18-cv-01257 (M.D. Pa.), alleged that the Department of Human Services (DHS) violated the Social Security Act by denying requests for removable medical equipment.  The lawsuit also alleged that the Defendant failed to inform the plaintiff class of the availability of such equipment under Medicaid (commonly known as Medical Assistance) and by leading youth, hospitals, equipment vendors, families, advocates, and others to believe that such devices were not covered under Medical Assistance.

The lawsuit led to a settlement which will now be submitted to the Court for approval on behalf of the plaintiff class.  The settlement provides that Medical Assistance now covers wheelchair lifts, stair glides, ceiling lifts, metal accessibility ramps, and other items that are used by a beneficiary with a mobility impairment to enter and exit the home or to support activities of daily living and are removable or reusable without damage to the item. Details of the settlement will be distributed in a notice to the class, and class members will be able to submit comments to the Court on the settlement as part of a hearing on the fairness of the settlement.

As part of the settlement, DHS revised its Medical Assistance regulations to reflect this new coverage, which was approved by the Federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), retroactive to April 1, 2020.  The revised coverage approved by CMS applies not only to the children in the plaintiff class, but to all Medical Assistance recipients in Pennsylvania, regardless of age.

Kelly Darr, Legal Director for Disability Rights Pennsylvania said, “Medical Assistance coverage of this equipment is essential to ensure that people with disabilities have access to their communities.  Pennsylvanians enrolled in Medical Assistance who need this equipment should request it even if they have been denied or told that the equipment was not covered in past.”

For more information on the new Medical Assistance regulations, contact Disability Rights Pennsylvania by calling 800-692-7443, Option 6, or sending an email to