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Colorado family fights medicaid over mental health treatment

Posted at 9:15 PM, Sep 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-25 07:44:03-04

DENVER -- A Colorado family is frustrated after battling with Medicaid to get their 8-year-old help for mental illness.

The DeLairs wanted to share their story because they believe the system is failing children like their own daughter. 

"It's not her fault. It's not these kids that grow up in traumatic situations. It's not their fault, but they need help to be able to get through it," said Heather DeLair.

Heather and Matt DeLair took in the little girl after her parents abandoned her, but they say she needs help for serious mental illness and she's not getting it. They're so concerned about her that they wired their home with security cameras to watch her every move.

They turned to Medicaid for help and attempted to get her placed in a residential care, a long-term facility that offers treatment in a supervised environment. According to the family, they were told Medicaid wouldn't pay enough or there was not enough space at other facilities.

"They just shut it down and said we're not going to pay that much money to help this little girl, we're just going to shut you down," said DeLair.

A nonprofit healthcare company called Colorado Access is involved in the girl's case and released the following statement:

Every patient’s need is unique and complex patient’s needs are complex. In general, in Colorado there is adequate access to a full range of behavioral health services, in-patient residential, out-patient and in-home services through Colorado’s Medicaid program.  Each case is unique and the goal is to match the most appropriate services based on the patient’s needs, goals and preferences.