National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Announces Winner of National Writing Award

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University of Richmond School of Law Professor and Former Students Receive John J. Regan Writing Award

The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) proudly announces that University of Richmond School of Law Professor Leigh Melton, JD; Amanda Bird, Esq.; and Lauren Ritter, Esq., are the recipients of the 2020 John J. Regan Writing Award for their article, “Observing the NOTICE Act,” published in the Spring 2019 NAELA Journal. (View PDF version of the article.)

Watch the Regan Award video.

In making the selection, the NAELA Journal editorial board members note that the article thoroughly covers Medicare's arcane requirement of three-day inpatient admission to a hospital as a prerequisite for coverage of skilled nursing care and how this requirement continues to inflict untold financial hardship on elderly patients who have unwittingly consented to nursing home care believing it would be paid, or worse, deprived them of medically necessary care if they declined to consent knowing that Medicare would not provide coverage as a consequence of the "admission" being classified as "for observation" as opposed to "inpatient." The article helps elder and special needs law practitioners to understand that just doing a better job of providing "notice" of the situation does nothing to remedy what is still an unacceptable situation.

The Regan Writing Award was established in 1996 in memory of John J. Regan — a long-time NAELA member and Fellow, and a pioneer in elder law — and is meant to encourage quality submissions to NAELA Journal from NAELA members and non-members.

NAELA Journal is a publication of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. It covers substantive elder and special needs law topics including preservation of assets, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, disability, health insurance, tax planning, conservatorships, living trusts and wills, long-term care planning, housing and nursing home issues, elder abuse, fraud recovers, age discrimination, and retirement.

Members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) are attorneys who are experienced and trained in working with the legal problems of aging Americans and individuals of all ages with disabilities. Upon joining, NAELA member attorneys agree to adhere to the NAELA Aspirational Standards. Established in 1987, NAELA is a non-profit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations, and others. The mission of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys is to educate, inspire, serve, and provide community to attorneys with practices in elder and special needs law. NAELA currently has members across the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit, or to locate a NAELA member in your area, visit

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Abby M. Reitz
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