Last Thursday I had the honor of being present at the Arizona court of Appeals Division One Investiture of Randall M. Howe. I've known Randy for years as a fellow board member of Arizona Center for Disability Law, and he was president at the time he was given this honor. The ceremony was held at the Disability Empowerment Center. The center itself is remarkable, and well worth visiting. The ceremony was wonderful: emotionally moving, and (for me) educational. After the ceremony, we went to the reception in the Virginia G. Piper Sports and Fitness Center. We were in one-half of the entire gymnasium, which is a work of art. The entire facility is breathtaking. When I think of people like Virginia Piper and Nina Pulliam who gave so generously to support the community in so many different ways, I stand in awe of them. But I digress. Seeing a person of the caliber of Randy Howe sworn in to the Court of Appeals is a moment I will always treasure. We as citizens are blessed to have Randy Howe on the bench.
Last week, says the Arizona Center for Disability Law, the Arizona Court of Appeals struck down Arizona’s restrictive denture coverage rules, which required a beneficiary to show more than an inability to chew and eat normally to establish a medical necessity for dentures. In relevant part, the Court found that:
“We hold in this case that AHCCCS exceeded its statutory authority by requiring Sharpe to establish a medical need in addition to the ability to chew. Therefore, to the extent that A.A.C. R9-22-201, Medical Policy 310, and A.A.C. R9-22-101(B) either expressly state or are interpreted to require a medical need in addition to the inability to chew, they are invalid…Based on the factual record before us, the undisputed facts show that dentures here were (1) ordered by a dentist, and (2) medically necessary.”Our client is a 32-year old woman with a disability who has severely decayed teeth and needs all of her teeth removed and whose primary care and dentist have recommended dentures as medically necessary. Click here for PDF of Arizona Court of Appeals Decision