ACLPI is on the frontlines of the latest battle on behalf of Arizona children with communication impairments who have been wrongfully denied medically necessary speech aids. Center attorney Anne Ronan was interviewed by KJZZ to shed light on the ongoing issue and the Center’s response.
Arizona’s Division of Developmental Disabilities denied 95% of the requests the Division received between July 1, 2019 and the end of February 2020 for Augmentative Alternative Communicative (AAC) devices. These devices are considered medically necessary for non-verbal individuals and are approved on a case-by-case basis. However, as the Center has found, these requests are arbitrarily denied using unlawful policies and procedures.
In January 2020, Ronan sent a demand to the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) to require the Division to cease the clear violation of state and federal laws in both eligibility requirements and the approval process. Despite an aggressive response from the AHCCCS, Ronan explains that nothing has changed at the Division. Necessary equipment, repairs and training continue to be denied in violation of federal and state law.
AHCCCS gave the Division of Developmental Disabilities until May 1 to fully comply with state and federal law. The Center continues to monitor the situation and plans to respond as necessary.