Patients, Health Groups Sue Medicare Over Service Cuts

01/18/11 5:50PM

Five New England residents and five national health care advocacy groups are suing the federal government, saying Medicare benefits are being improperly cut after their health conditions are determined to be chronic.

The suit was filed today in U.S. District Court in Burlington on behalf of people from Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island and Connecticut. It targets what it calls an unofficial condition of eligibility.

That is, if a patient's condition is medically stable, benefits can be reduced or the person may be found ineligible for them. The suit says the standard has never gone through an official federal rule-making process.

There's no immediate comment from the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

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