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Boy, 10, stranded by dispute over payment

WASHINGTON, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- A 10-year-old Maryland boy stranded in a psychiatric facility in Washington can get out if responsible parties agree on how to pay for his care, a judge ruled.

The boy is trapped by a three-cornered dispute over how to pay for his care, and his mother says he is not ready to return home, The Washington Post reported.

At a hearing Monday, lawyers for Prince George's County, Md., and Children's Hospital in Washington disputed which government would be responsible for paying if he is transferred to a residential facility in Philadelphia.

Superior Court Judge Eugene Hamilton said most of the boy's care in Philadelphia will be covered by Medicaid so at most the county or the District of Columbia would be responsible for a 10 percent or 20 percent co-payment. But he said the Philadelphia facility will not admit him until it knows who is paying.

"D.C. and Maryland are hem-hawing about responsibility of this case when, at the end of the day, it's not their money," Hamilton said.

While the boy's mother, who has custody, and his father, were both in court, Hamilton said the boy, whose name was not released, is considered legally to have been abandoned in Washington. He was hospitalized after being suspended from school Aug. 31, attacking a relative and making a suicide attempt.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

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