Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Observation Stays Piece in Time This Week

Dana Halvorson


Earlier this week, Time.com published a piece on the observation stays issue entitled, How to Make Sure Medicare Really Covers Your Hospital Stay, written by Philip Moeller. At the start of the piece, Moeller notes that, “Many Medicare patients are surprised to learn they weren’t officially admitted to the hospital—and they face big bills. Here's how to avoid the problem.” The story goes on to include three guidelines for “reducing the risks of observational status.” The piece also includes mention of the AARP report released on April 14, 2015, on the observation stays issue. Nearly 2 out of 3 observation patients who needed skilled nursing center care after hospital discharge did not meet Medicare’s 3-day inpatient requirement for coverage, according to the report. 

AHCA/NCAL and AARP are part of the observation stays Coalition, which supports the bipartisan Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act (S. 843/H.R. 1571) that would count a patient’s time in observation toward the 3-day hospital inpatient stay requirement for Medicare coverage of skilled nursing center care. More details on the observation stays and 3-day stay issue can be found on the AHCA/NCAL observation stays website.  

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