Understanding The Jimmo Settlement: How Healthcare Advocates Can Assist In Securing Adequate Skilled Care

Understanding The Jimmo Settlement: How Healthcare Advocates Can Assist In Securing Adequate Skilled Care
| by Kristy Dalechek-Shell

In the realm of healthcare, accessing appropriate levels of care can be a challenging and often contentious issue. For individuals requiring skilled care services, navigating the complexities of coverage and entitlements can be overwhelming. However, a significant legal development, the Jimmo Settlement, has played a pivotal role in reshaping the landscape of Medicare coverage for skilled care services.

What Is The Jimmo Settlement?

In 2013, the Jimmo v. Sebelius settlement fundamentally altered the interpretation of Medicare coverage for skilled care services. This landmark case challenged the prevailing misconception that Medicare would only cover skilled care if a patient's condition was improving. The settlement clarified that improvement is not the sole criterion for receiving skilled care; rather, the focus should be on the individual's need for skilled care to maintain their current condition or prevent deterioration.

Understanding Skilled Care Services

Skilled care services encompass a wide range of medical and therapeutic services provided by trained professionals. These services may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, nursing care, and more. Their primary goal is to address and manage a patient's specific medical needs in a way that untrained individuals cannot.

The Role Of a Healthcare Advocate

Navigating the intricacies of healthcare coverage, especially in light of the Jimmo Settlement, can be daunting. This is where healthcare advocates play a crucial role. Healthcare advocates are knowledgeable professionals who assist patients in understanding their rights, accessing appropriate care, and advocating for their entitlements.

Here's How a Healthcare Advocate Can Help Individuals Who Believe They Are Entitled To More Skilled Care:

1. Education and Information: Healthcare advocates inform patients about their rights under the Jimmo Settlement and help them understand the criteria for receiving skilled care services.

2. Assessment and Documentation: Advocates work closely with patients and healthcare providers to assess the individual's medical condition and document the necessity for skilled care. They ensure that all relevant information is accurately recorded and communicated to Medicare or insurance providers.

3. Appeals and Legal Support: If a claim for skilled care services is denied, healthcare advocates can assist in appealing the decision. They provide valuable support in navigating the appeals process and, if necessary, connect individuals with legal resources to uphold their rights.

4. Continued Support and Follow-Up: Healthcare advocates offer ongoing support, ensuring that patients receive the appropriate level of care. They follow up with healthcare providers and insurance companies to guarantee that the individual's needs are being met


The Jimmo Settlement represents a significant stride towards ensuring that individuals receive the skilled care they need, regardless of their potential for improvement. However, navigating the healthcare system to access these entitlements can be challenging.

Healthcare advocates serve as invaluable allies, providing guidance, support, and advocacy to individuals seeking adequate skilled care services. By leveraging their expertise, these advocates empower patients to assert their rights and secure the necessary care to maintain or improve their quality of life.

At Haven Healthcare Advocates we strive to make sure clients and families have all the information they need, and they understand the information they have, in order to make the best healthcare decisions.  We coordinate care to make sure nothing falls between the cracks.  Whether someone is faced with a complicated healthcare issue or crisis, caring for an aging or sick parent, caring for a special needs child, transitioning from hospital, to rehab, to home, or is looking for resources or second opinions, our team of nurses is available to help.  We provide peace of mind, so you can enjoy time with your loved ones. 

To learn more about Haven Healthcare Advocates and the services we provide please visit our website at www.havenhca.com