Stayton v. Del. Health Cop
In Stayton v. Del. Health Cop., et al., 117 A.3d 521, 522 (Del. 2015) the Delaware Supreme Court created an exception to the collateral source rule, finding that medical provider write-offs for a Medicare patient are not payments made to or benefits conferred on that patient. (Stayton, 117 A.3d at 531.)
The Stayton Court held that the collateral source rule does not apply to amounts to be written off by Medicare because Medicare write-offs are neither a benefit nor a gratuity conferred on the insured Medicare patient. (Stayton, 117 A.3d at 531.)
Instead, Medicare write-offs reflect the agreement between Medicare and the medical provider, which ultimately benefits federal taxpayers.
Therefore, the Court opined, that where the healthcare provider has treated a plaintiff covered by Medicare, the amount paid for medical services by Medicare is the amount recoverable by the plaintiff as medical expense damages.