Monday, February 10, 2014

National News Story on Observation Stays Issue

Last week, Fox News Tonight aired a segment on the observation stays loophole during their 6pm broadcast “Special Report with Bret Baier.” The story focused on a beneficiary who was deemed to be on observation during her hospital stay, leaving the family to pay a $17,000 bill for her skilled nursing care. Representatives Joseph Courtney (D-CT), who introduced the Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2013 (H.R.1179) with Tom Latham (R-IA), was featured on the piece. In a separate news piece out of Nebraska, the Omaha World-Herald followed local families impacted by the observation stay loophole.

 As noted in previous Capitol Connections, H.R. 1179 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 SNF care. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced a companion bill, S.569, cosponsored by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME). H.R. 1179 currently has 136 bipartisan cosponsors, while S. 569 has 25 bipartisan cosponsors. For more information about the observation stays issue, please visit the AHCA/NCAL website.

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