Falkenberg Ives is pleased to report that the Court of Appeals of Indiana affirmed dismissal of claims against its payer client based on Medicare preemption in the case of Steve Snyder v. Prompt Medical Transportation, Inc.; Humana Insurance Company; and St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, No. 18A-CT-3112.
Plaintiff alleged that the payer caused or contributed to the death of a member by failing to authorize an air ambulance transport for a lung transplant and sought millions in wrongful death damages. We argued that the authorization decision for the air ambulance was necessarily a Medicare coverage decision and, as such, all state law claims relating to such decision were preempted by the Medicare Advantage express preemption provision. The trial court dismissed on Medicare preemption grounds. Plaintiff appealed and the appellate court agreed with our preemption analysis and found that the state law claims were preempted and properly dismissed.
Prior to this decision, there was no Medicare preemption precedent in Indiana. As such, this case can serve as favorable future precedent for Medicare Advantage and Part D plans in both Indiana and elsewhere.
A copy of the opinion can be found at: https://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/07251901jgb.pdf.