Chisolm v. Hood

133 F. Supp. 2d 894 (2001)

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Chisolm v. Hood

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
133 F. Supp. 2d 894 (2001)

  • Written by Jody Stuart, JD

Facts

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) administered the Medicaid program within the state. Christina Chisolm and others (collectively, Chisolm) (plaintiffs) brought a class-action suit against the secretary of DHH, David Hood (defendant), asserting that federal Medicaid law required the state to provide behavioral and psychological services, rendered by licensed psychologists, to class members with autism. All class members were eligible for Medicaid and were under the age of 21. Chisolm offered unrebutted expert testimony by Dr. Grant Butterbaugh. Butterbaugh testified that (1) psychological or behavioral interventions had been shown to be effective in improving functioning in children with autism; (2) the use of behavioral interventions was essential for teaching most children with autism daily functional skills and for modifying misbehaviors; (3) psychological services could at least mitigate the effects of autism, and for many individuals with autism, the psychological services were a necessary service, for which other services could not substitute; and (4) psychiatrists were generally not trained in, and did not provide, the types of behavioral treatments that had been shown to be effective in treating children with autism.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Barbier, J.)

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