On Friday, June 17, some members of the national observation stays Coalition, including AHCA/NCAL, sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding how the agency will implement the Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility Act (NOTICE Act).
The CMS proposed rules updating Medicare reimbursement to acute care hospitals included a section on the NOTICE Act for public comment. Effective August 6, 2016, the NOTICE Act requires that hospitals provide written and oral notice, within 36 hours, to patients who are in observation or other outpatient status for more than 24 hours. The members that signed the comment letter to CMS felt strongly that the notice must explain the reason that the patient is an outpatient, not an inpatient, and describe the implications of that status both for cost-sharing in the hospital and for “subsequent eligibility for coverage” in a Skilled Nursing Center.
As noted in previous communications, AHCA/NCAL supported the passage of the NOTICE Act on Capitol Hill, and feels that it is an important step forward. The NOTICE Act (P.L. 114-42) was signed into law on August 6, 2015.