ACDL Wins Incontinence Briefs Case Against AHCCCS; State Appeals

Sarah E. Kader, Staff Attorney
Arizona Center for Disability Law

DDNN Summer 2013

stethescopeIn 2009, ACDL filed a lawsuit, Alvarez v. Betlach, on behalf of 11 individuals in federal district court against the State of Arizona.  The lawsuit said that AHCCCS’ policy of denying medically necessary incontinence briefs prescribed for preventative purposes to adults over the age of 21 violated Federal Medicaid law.  ACDL filed this case after winning a similar case on behalf of children under the age of 21 (Ekloff v. Rogers).  In Alvarez, a decision was made by the Court on May 21, 2012.  The Court found that AHCCCS’ policy violates Federal Medicaid law.  The Court ordered the State of Arizona to provide incontinence briefs to the Plaintiffs in the lawsuit as well as all AHCCCS-eligible adults who have a medical need for incontinence briefs for preventative purposes.  The State appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and ACDL is now awaiting a date to be set for oral argument.  ACDL will continue fighting on behalf of our Plaintiffs and all Arizonans who are prescribed incontinence briefs as medically necessary for preventative purposes.