RALEIGH — North Carolina has increased the amount it spends to allow the disabled to live outside institutions in the years since a landmark Supreme Court ruling.
The 1999 decision said unnecessarily segregating people in mental hospitals, nursing homes and other institutions amounts to discrimination. Advocates for the mentally ill, older people and the disabled cite the ruling in arguing for home- or community-based care.
In 2002, North Carolina spent more than 39 percent of Medicaid funds on such services. In 2012, the last year for which numbers are available from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the figure was more than 56 percent. That ranks North Carolina as 14th-highest in the nation.
The ruling has limitations. It says individuals should be “reasonably accommodated” and offers no guidance on allotting funds.