Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Observation Stays Issue Update

By Dana Halvorson

AHCA/NCAL continues its support and advocacy for legislation, The Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2013 (S. 569/H.R. 1179), introduced by Reps. Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Tom Latham (R-IA), along with Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), which seeks to count all hospital days spent in observation towards the three-day stay requirement.  The number of cosponsors since the bills were introduced earlier this year have increased significantly.  Currently, S. 569 has 24 bipartisan cosponsors, while H.R. 1179 has 125 bipartisan cosponsors.  AHCA/NCAL also continues its work as part of the Observation Stays Coalition, which now consists of 19 organizations advocating for this important legislation.  Most recently, The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) joined the efforts.  In addition to AHCA/NCAL and JFNA, Coalition members include:  AARP, AMDA, American Case Management Association, American Medical Association, Alliance for Retired Americans, Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc., Leadership Council of Aging Organizations, LeadingAge, Medicare Rights Center, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers, National Association of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, National Senior Citizens Law Center, and Society of Hospital Medicine.  The updated Coalition fact sheet can be found here.  For more information about observation stays, visit the AHCA/NCAL website.

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