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Health and Human Services

The Health and Human Services Section is a litigation-oriented section. HHS cases primarily involve administrative hearings pursuant to Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Section 119. The Section represents agencies in the healthcare, licensing, and public benefit areas. The Section also brings lawsuits on behalf of agencies and defends agencies against suits in all state and federal courts. HHS typically has over thirty attorneys, in five regional offices. The Section represents both regulatory boards and state agencies, and is divided into five units, as follows:

The Regulatory Board Unit is the largest unit in HHS. In addition to the Ohio Department of Aging and the Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI), the Unit represents health-related professional licensing boards. Some examples include the Medical Board, the Dental Board, the Pharmacy Board, and the Nursing Board.

The Health Unit represents the Ohio Department of Health. Health cases mostly deal with facility licensure (CON, group homes, adult care facilities, nursing homes, migrant labor camps, ambulatory surgical facilities). Some Health cases also deal with professional licensure (nurse aides, x-ray technicians, asbestos abatement) and environmental matters (radon, lead abatement). Other programs such as WIC (Women’s, Infant’s and Children’s Food Supplement Program) also generate litigation.

The Unemployment Services Unit represents one division of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the Unemployment Compensation Division. The Unit defends the decisions of the Unemployment Compensation Review Commission on all appellate matters.

The Human Services Unit represents the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). Unit attorneys handle cases involving eligibility for benefits under the Medicaid, TANF, SNAP, and Adoption Assistance programs, among others. They may appear in various state and federal courts, and administrative tribunals. On behalf of ODM, Unit attorneys defend decisions regarding individual applications for Medicaid benefits and decisions disciplining Medicaid providers. They also defend ODM in a wide variety of original actions brought in state and federal court. On behalf of ODJFS, Unit attorneys litigate cases involving the licensing of day-care and foster-care providers, as well as miscellaneous cases related to ODJFS’ role with child support and adoption assistance.

This Unit represents the Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD), the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (MHAS), and State Board of Psychology. Unit attorneys spend most of their time prosecuting administrative actions against providers of services to developmentally disabled and/or mentally ill individuals. On behalf of these clients, HHS participates in licensure matters, commitment hearings, abuse hearings, certification of group homes and forced medication matters. Unit attorneys may also represent their client agencies in state and federal court, typically in response to civil-rights cases brought under 42 U.S.C. §1983 or the Americans with Disabilities Act.