Resources to Decrease Denied Medicare Claims.
Home | Contact Us | Member Benefits | Search | Member Area
Become a member & get immediate access to all of our resources.

Take a Free Tour
About ALO
 Who Should Join
 Download Samples
 Member Benefits
 Terms & Privacy Policy
 Take a Tour
 Member Comments
Discussion Forum
 Appeal Letters
 Audio Conferences
 Discussion Forum
 Download Library
 Articles & Case Studies
 State Resources
 My Membership
 Providers' Rights
 Benefit Disclosure
 Utilization Management
 Medical Necessity
 Incorrect Payments
 Prompt Pay
 Treatment Excl/Limits
 Refund & Recoupments
 Specialty Care
 Contract Negotiation
 Other Topics
Visit our Online Store.
Home | Medicare Denials

Preexisting Conditions

Case Study: Appealing Insurance Claims Denied on the Grounds of a Preexisting Condition

The Problem:  An Insurance Company denied a hospital's claim based on policy language excluding coverage for pre-existing conditions. Upon request, the patient provided a copy of his policy and it was determined that pre-existing condition was defined as "any condition treated prior to the effective date of coverage." Appeal Solutions' first step on any pre-existing denial is to verify the exact wording of the pre-existing clause.


Signup Today   or   Download Sample Appeal Letters


The Solution:  Careful review of the patient medical records prior to hospitalization revealed that the patient was seen by a physician just days before the effective date of coverage. This, of course, was an immediate red flag to the insurance examiner. The physician records were obtained with the permission of the patient. The records indicated that the initial physician who saw this patient was unable to reach a conclusive diagnosis and referred the patient to a specialist. The insurance coverage became effective after this initial consultation but before a correct diagnosis was made by a specialist.

Legal research for a similar case revealed a decision favorable to the provider's appeal. In Scarborough v. Aetna Life Insurance Company, 572 S.W. 2d 282, the Supreme Court of Texas ruled that medical care and treatment can encompass a preliminary examination. However, for the preexisting exclusion to apply, it is necessary that the insured received a medical service for a known condition. In this situation, I successfully argued that this patient's treatment prior to the policy effective date was for an unknown condition. Therefore, the treatment, if any, rendered prior to the policy effective date was for a different condition and did not bring it under the preexisting definition as defined by the policy.

The Insurance Company released benefits within 10 days of reviewing appeal letter citing this case law.

Signup Today   or   Download Sample Appeal Letters


Potential application for Your Medical Facility:

The condition this patient suffered was parathrodism, often difficult to diagnose. However, with many other conditions, such as athereosclorosis, asthma and mental disorders, the early diagnosis is also often difficult to make and subject to change. Each patient may progress through many stages of these conditions. Cardic patients may initially be diagnosed with heart palpatations or chest and arm pain in early stages of the disease. Angina is often another precursor to atherosclerosis. The point of the Scarborough case is that the treatment prior to the effective date must be for a known condition and the same condition which is currently being denied. In any pre-existing denial, we carefully review the medical records to see if the diagnoses are the exact same before and after the effective date. If not, the provider has an excellent appeal position.


Sign Up Today


Download Letters

Signup for immediate access to our database of 1600+ Appeal Letters
  • 1600 Professionally Written Appeal Letters
  • Hundreds of Denial Management Articles & Case-Studies
  • Knowledge-building online seminars, presentations & training tools
  • State Resources with links to court cases, state statutes
  • Complete access for less than a dollar per day.
Download free sample appeal letters from our database of 1600+ Letters.
  • Medical Necessity
  • Timely Filing
  • Preexisting Conditions
  • Lack of Precertification
  • Benefit Reductions
  • Refund Requests
  • Stalled Claims
  • Specialty Care Appeal Reviews
  • Workers' Comp
  • Verification of Benefits Issues
  • Coding Issues