Under ‘Observation,’ Some Hospital Patients Face Big Bills
[...] On July 31, a federal judge in Connecticut certified a class in a class-action lawsuit: all Medicare recipients who’ve been hospitalized and received observation services as outpatients since January 1, 2009.
That means hundreds of thousands of people, Ms. Niemi among them, will be eligible to join the suit against the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, with a trial expected next year. If the plaintiffs prevail, they’ll be able to appeal their observation-outpatient stays.
“People call in dire situations, and we have to tell them there’s no way to challenge this,” said Alice Bers, litigation director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy, which brought the lawsuit with Justice in Aging and a law firm, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. “Now we can tell them, ‘You’re a member of the class, so stay tuned.’” [...]aging health care finance medicaremedicaid public health regulation