Advocates File Lawsuit Against Iowa Over Children’s Mental Health Care

(Undated) -- A class-action lawsuit filed by multiple advocacy groups says Iowa fails to provide adequate mental health care to Medicaid-eligible children.

The complaint cites the state's "longstanding failure to provide the Plaintiff children with these legally-required and medically necessary services."

It says the state has acknowledged the problems but has yet to address them to offer a functional system that serves children in need. They add that the state receives funding that should go toward correcting the system.

Across Iowa, the need for mental health services for children is growing. A recent report from Mental Health America says nearly half of children (ages 12-17) with depression in Iowa did not receive mental health treatment. As of June 2021, nearly one in two Iowa children are served by Medicaid.

The lawsuit was filed by Disability Rights Iowa, Children’s Rights, National Health Law Program, and Ropes & Gray, LLP, against Kelly Garcia, director of the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services.

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