Decision in Alexander v. Price Means Medicare Patients Could Gain Right to Appeal
Placement on “Observation Status” and Avoid Large Medical Bills
On July 31, 2017, a Connecticut federal district court issued decision certifying a nationwide class of hospital patients who may gain the right to appeal their placement on observation status. In Alexander v. Price, 3:11-CV-1703 (MPS), Judge Michael P. Shea of U.S. District Court in Connecticut, certified a class composed of all Medicare beneficiaries who, since January 1, 2009, have received or will have received “observation services” as an outpatient during a hospitalization. The result of being declared under observation status was that a patient had to pay thousands of dollars for nursing facility care after being hospitalized for several ays on observation status.
Class members are likely to number in the hundreds of thousands. The court cited a 2012 study by researchers at Brown University that identified 918,180 Medicare beneficiaries who experienced observation stays in 2009 alone. In addition to lacking coverage for very costly nursing home care, patients on observation status can also face increased costs for drugs taken at the hospital and copayments for hospital services.
You can read more about observation status at the below link:
You can read the federal court class certification order at the below link: