Supreme Court Case Could Affect Your Medicaid Rights

November 8th, 2022, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County Indiana v. Talevski, the outcome of which could deal a major blow to the rights of Medicaid beneficiaries. If you or a loved one is currently receiving benefits from Medicaid, this case could affect your ability to seek assistance to which you are entitled if your state denies you that assistance. Read on to find out more about this case and how it could affect your rights.

Hospital Corporation of Marion County Indiana v. Talevski

Gorgi Talevski was a patient receiving care at a state-run nursing facility in Indiana. His wife, Ivanka Talevski, filed a lawsuit on his behalf, alleging that during his time at the facility, he was denied adequate care, was unnecessarily administered mind-altering drugs as a form of chemical restraint, and was improperly discharged and transferred. Talevski alleges that these actions would violate the Federal Nursing Home Amendments Act of 1987 (FNHA) Section 1983, which sets a minimum standard of care for residents of certified nursing facilities.

A district court dismissed her claim, finding that the FNHA does not give patients the right to pursue legal action against the State of Indiana. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, however, reversed that decision, finding that portions of the FNHA are intended to provide patients with an avenue to pursue legal action against states that violate federal requirements for nursing home care standards. If the Supreme Court were to reverse that decision, it would have far-reaching consequences for programs like Medicaid that are administered on a state-by-state basis.

Could This Case Affect Your Rights?

Under current law, Section 1983 of the FNHA allows Medicaid enrollees to file lawsuits in federal court when they feel they have been unlawfully denied care or have been caused other harm while receiving nursing home care in state-run facilities. If such a violation has occurred, Medicaid beneficiaries can seek a federal judicial review of their situation, a process that can bring about a result much more quickly than could be achieved through the adjudication process available at the state level. If the Supreme Court reverses the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision, it would mean Medicaid beneficiaries would no longer have access to Section 1983 and would have to address any grievances through the state adjudication process, which is known to take years. It would also mean states would be free to enact policies that harm Medicaid recipients knowing that it would likely be years before those policies could be reversed and that they would face no consequences in the meantime.

Medicaid Planning Attorney in Montgomery County, PA

As part of our mission to assist Pennsylvania residents with all their elder law needs, the team at Slutsky Elder Law monitors state and federal law very closely. Depending on the outcome of this case, millions of Medicaid recipients could be affected. It is our sincere hope that the Supreme Court will uphold access to Section 1983 and protect Medicaid beneficiaries’ right to use the federal court system to redress grievances against their state programs. 

If you are a Pennsylvania resident who has questions about Medicaid, you need to speak with the elder law attorney Robert Slutsky today. He will protect your assets and assist with the tedious application process for Medicaid. Rob advises clients on Medicaid and Asset Protection Planning, Special Needs Planning, Guardianships, Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Estate Administration, and General Estate Planning. Get in touch with Slutsky Elder Law at 610-940-0650 to find a top Medicaid lawyer in Delaware County, PA, and surrounding areas.

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