A Connecticut federal appeals court granted certain hospital patients the right to appeal “observation stay” designations in a ruling that many hope will lead to greater access to Medicare-covered long-term care services. 

Judge Michael P. Shea ruled in March that as a matter of constitutional due process, patients who are initially admitted as inpatients by a physician but whose status is later changed to observation by their hospital have the right to appeal to Medicare to be certified fully as hospital inpatients.

The government could still appeal the ruling. n