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Friday, October 26, 2012

Navigating the Medicare Claims Process

In this weekend's Your Money column, I write about the settlement of a class-action lawsuit over the question of whether and when Medicare should cover treatments for people with chronic or degenerative conditions for which there are no cure.

If you or a relative has multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease or if you're paralyzed or recovering from a stroke, among other things, you too may have been unable to get Medicare to cover physical therapy or certain skilled nursing treatment because your health wasn't improving or you weren't likely to improve any more. The settlement clarifies what was supposed to be the law of the land, which is that Medicare ought to cover any reasonable treatment prescribed by a doctor even if it only aims to slow a person's deterioration or maintain the current level of health.

Have you run into a situation where Medicare turned you, a relative or a patient down for treatment because there was no likelihood of improv ement? If so, did you appeal the decision?