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Jul 22, 2013 1:37 PM by Kate Richards

Florida being sued for keeping disabled children in nursing homes

MIAMI (AP) - The U.S. Justice Department is suing Florida, saying the state is unnecessarily keeping hundreds of disabled children in nursing homes.

According to the lawsuit filed Monday, federal officials visited six nursing homes around the state and identified roughly 200 children who didn't need to be there and could receive care at home.

Federal officials concluded the state has made it difficult for disabled children to get medical services that would allow them to move home. According to the lawsuit, Florida's system has led to unnecessary segregation and isolation of children, often for years.

The federal government threatened a lawsuit in September if the state failed to make changes to the system.

State health officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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