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Medicare Patients Lose ‘Observation’ Case

A federal judge in Hartford, Conn., has thrown out a lawsuit filed by the Center for Medicare Advocacy on behalf of 14 beneficiaries who were socked with thousands of dollars in unexpected charges for nursing-home admission after a hospital stay, Kaiser Health News reports. 
The unexpected cost came from the hospitals’ use of the “observation” classification for certain patients, rather than the traditional admission. Patients said they had no idea they had not officially been admitted and should not have to pay a penalty. But Judge Michael P. Shea ruled, based on precedent, that the determination of admission status should be left up to doctors and hospitals.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.