Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hospital Observation Status Consumer Notification Act Passes in PA

Dana Halvorson


Due to the advocacy efforts of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association/Center for Assisted Living Management and its members, the PA Senate recently passed unanimously HB 1907 (the Hospital Observation Status Consumer Notification Act). The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law. The legislation requires hospitals to provide oral and written notice to a patient if he or she is receiving care as an “outpatient” under “observation status” rather than being admitted as an “inpatient” after 23 hours in the hospital. It also requires hospitals to explain the ramifications of the observation status to the patient. The Act will take effect within 180 days of becoming law. If you have any questions about HB 1907, please don’t hesitate to contact Russ McDaid at 717-221-7930 or rmcdaid@phca.org.

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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