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:

Observation Status Class Action

You can read the federal court class certification order at the below link:

Federal Court Order

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About Jerry

Jerold E. Rothkoff, a practicing New Jersey and Pennsylvania attorney, is the Principal of the Rothkoff Law Group, an elder care law firm. Jerry dedicates his practice to serving clients in the areas of life care planning, long-term care planning, Medicaid & VA benefits, and advocacy for the elderly and disabled. He is past President of the NJ Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, former chair of the elder law section of the NJ State Bar Association, and past President of the Life Care Planning Law Firm Association. Jerry continues to be an outspoken advocate for the rights of the elderly and disabled. He writes for and gives presentations regularly to attorneys and other professionals about legal issues related to seniors and those with disabilities.

Jerry’s community activities include the Twilight Wish Foundation, the Delaware Valley Stroke Council, the Alzheimer’s Association, as well as numerous other advocacy groups.

When not in the office, Jerry spends time with his wife, Erica, and their five children, eighteen-year old identical twin girls, Liza and Julia, fifteen-year old fraternal twin boys, Evan and Gregory, and six-year old Aitan.

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