Action Alert: September 27, 2022


September 27, 2022 | by Amber Smock

Civil Rights at Risk in Medicaid and Safety Net Case

Disability groups are sounding alarm about Indiana lawsuit HHC vs. Talevski

Access Living friends and allies, 

This is a nursing home case that, if brought to the U.S. Supreme Court, could do real damage to the civil rights of people who rely on Medicaid and other social benefits. We need your help!

What is HHC vs. Talevski? 

According to the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law’s fact sheet, HHC stands for the Health and Hospital Corp. of Marion County, Indiana. Mr. Gorgi Talevski, who is now deceased, was a patient at an HHC nursing home facility, Valparaiso Care and Rehabilitation. Mr. Talevski’s estate alleges that the facility abused and neglected him by using chemical restraints and medicating him to sleep, rather than treating his dementia-related needs.

The Federal Nursing Home Reform Act (FNHRA) gives nursing home residents the right to be free from restraint, whether physical or chemical. Mr. Talevski (through his family) sued HHC, with the claim that HHC violated his rights under the FNHRA. HHC argued that nursing home residents such as Talevski should not be able to bring cases to federal court for resolution. Mr. Talevski won in the lower courts, but HHC petitioned to the Supreme Court asking the Court to rule that individuals may no longer sue to protect their rights. The hearing has been scheduled for November 8th, 2022.

It is essential that HHC withdraw this lawsuit before it goes to the Supreme Court.

 If the Court ruled that people could not sue to protect their rights, it would affect people who use not only Medicaid but Medicare, SNAP, CHIP, TANF, foster care, juvenile system-involved youth, and homeless people. Here is where we need your help. It could weaken your ability to sue over discrimination based on sex, race, color, national origin or disability.

Here is where we need your help

You have multiple options!

  • Sign on to a letter to HHC to ask them to withdraw the case (here is the link to the sign on letter)
  • Share this fact sheet about HHC vs Talevski
  • Text HHC to 52886
  • Share what these programs and your rights mean to you on social media. Use the hashtags #Talevski and #Protect504.
  • Tag HHC board members in your social media posts (contact information is in this fact sheet )
  • Follow @bazeloncenter to stay updated
  • Send a letter to the HHC Board of Directors:
    Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County
    Attn: Board of Trustees 3838 North Rural Street
    Indianapolis, IN 46205 

We need your help TODAY. Let’s stop this attack on our civil rights, together.