HIV-Positive Stroke Patient Drops Discrimination Complaint Against La. Nursing Home, Maintains Claims Against Five Others
A 50-year-old HIV-positive stroke patient who had been denied entry into six Kentwood, La.-area nursing homes has dropped a federal discrimination complaint against one of the nursing homes after it recently agreed to admit him, the AP/Baton Rouge Advocate reports. Cecil Little had been living in a nursing home 80 miles from his family in Kentwood after Kentwood Manor and five other local nursing homes rejected his admission, according to Little's attorney, Jonathan Givner (AP/Baton Rouge Advocate, 10/8). The Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund in July filed a discrimination complaint with the HHS Office for Civil Rights claiming that the nursing homes refused to admit Little because of his HIV-positive status. According to the complaint, all of the facilities initially agreed to accept Little but reversed their decisions after paperwork revealed that Little was also being treated for HIV. The complaint asked the government to decide if by refusing admission to Little, the facilities had violated the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 -- a predecessor of the Americans with Disabilities Act -- which protects people with disabilities, including HIV, from discrimination by groups that receive any federal funding, including Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/25). According to Givner, Little recently moved into Kentwood Manor. Givner said, "This is really all Cecil Little and his family wanted all along -- to be within a few minutes drive, so the family can provide support as Cecil works toward recovery." According to Givner, Lambda Legal will continue to pursue claims against the other five nursing homes -- Tangi Pines in Amite, La.; Heritage Manor in Franklinton, La.; and Belle Maison, Heritage Manor and Hammond Nursing Home in Hammond, La.(AP/Baton Rouge Advocate, 10/8).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.