Tuesday, February 11, 2014

AHCA/NCAL joins Courtney, Brown in call focused on observation stays issue

Claire Krawsczyn

On Tuesday, Feb. 11, AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson joined a call hosted by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT-2) regarding the legislation they introduced, The Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act (H.R. 1179/S.569), to address the observation stays issue impacting Medicare beneficiaries and those that care for them. Parkinson represented long term and post-acute care providers on the call.

“At a time when it seems that not much work is being done, it is very encouraging to see the progress that Congressman Courtney and Senator Brown, along with Congressman Latham and Senator Collins, have made to get this bill passed,” said Parkinson on the call.

The 45-minute teleconference included a testimony from Eric Chomsky, whose 83-year old mother was left with a $4,800 bill for 17 nights of rehabilitative care after a six-night stay in a hospital, during which her status was changed on the third day from inpatient to observation – a change that left her and her family on the hook for any skilled nursing care. H.R. 1179/S.569 would require that time spent in observation be counted towards meeting the three-day prior inpatient stay that is necessary to qualify for Medicare coverage of skilled nursing care. Under current legislation, observation days do not count as qualifying days.

Also participating in the call were representatives from the Society of Hospital Medicine and the Center for Medicare Advocacy, who joins AHCA/NCAL as part of the observation stay coalition advocating for the passage of H.R. 1179/S.569. Two new members joined the coalition this week: the National Hispanic Council on Aging and the National Association of Local Long Term Care Ombudsmen, bringing the coalition membership to 24 organizations. For more information on observation stays, please visit www.CareNotCuts.org.

No comments:

Post a Comment