Monday, August 4, 2014

Observation Stays Issue Focus of Capitol Hill Hearing

Dana Halvorson

Last week, the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing entitled, Admitted or Not? The Impact of Medicare Observation Status on Seniors. Committee Chairman Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-ME) led the afternoon hearing held on Wednesday, July 30, focused on the observation stays issue.

Click here to watch the full hearing, and to view the witness list.

AHCA/NCAL member, Bob Armstrong, Vice President of Elder Care Services at St. Mary's Health System (pictured), testified in front of the U.S. Senate Aging Committee about the impact the observation stays issue has on both the beneficiaries and the providers who care for the individuals. Mr. Armstrong’s full testimony can be found here.

Hospital stays classified as observation, no matter how long and no matter the type or number of services provided, are considered outpatient. These hospital stays do not qualify patients for Medicare-covered care in a skilled nursing center.

For more information about observation stays, please visit the AHCA/NCAL website.

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