University of Miami Law Review | October 2016

Date: 
October 16, 2016

Room for Improvement & Room for None: Jimmo Ruling Directs Medicare Agency to Improve Its Educational Campaign Regarding the “Maintenance Coverage Standard”

As reported by the Center for Medicare Advocacy, “in an Opinion and Order released on August 18, 2016, Chief Judge Christina Reiss, who oversees the ‘Improvement Standard’ case (Jimmo v. Burwell, No. 11-cv-17 (D.Vt.)), ordered the federal government, through its Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), to comply with the Settlement Agreement that she had approved in January 2013.” ...

After the 2013 agreement was established, Michael Benvenuto, one of the lead attorneys from Vermont Legal Aid, stated that “[t]his settlement should send the message that denying Medicare coverage for a chronic condition is wrong.”  Similarly, even as the original settlement was being proposed, the New York Times wrote an editorial extolling the humanity of the rule change.  Together, these notions epitomize an ideal of human dignity that skilled care should be provided to the elderly or disabled, even when their condition may not improve.