Issue March 2012

March 2012

The improvement standard and observation status: Two barriers to Medicare coverage

According to the statute, Medicare provides coverage for care that is "reasonable and necessary."1 The real-world application of this standard, however, can become complicated. This article highlights two areas where Medicare's purpose has been thwarted by policies that inappropriately deny coverage to beneficiaries. One of the policies -- dubbed the "improvement standard " by advocates -- has been deeply ingrained in the medical system for decades, whereas the other -- "observation status" in hospitals -- has come to the fore more recently.

The state’s anti-bullying law and students with disabilities: Legal requirements and practical applications

The Massachusetts Anti-Bullying Law, M.G.L. c. 71, s. 37O, went into effect on May 3, 2010. This article will examine the language of the statute and its practical application through the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team process. Additionally, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has advised that instances of bullying may implicate civil rights laws, which will require school districts to respond in a more global way, investigating whether a hostile environment exists in the school.