On August 6, 2016, AHCA/NCAL’s President and CEO, Mark Parkinson, was quoted in a New York Times article on the Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility (NOTICE) Act.
Parkinson was quoted in the article saying, “Patients often have no idea what their status is in a hospital. Observation stays impose a financial burden on seniors, and increase the likelihood that they will have to turn to programs like Medicaid, the federal-state program for low-income people.
The NOTICE Act law will require hospitals to notify Medicare beneficiaries of their outpatient status within 36 hours. It was sponsored by Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX). Rep Doggett is also is an original cosponsor of the Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act, which counts outpatient hospital days toward the 3-day requirement for Medicare coverage of a skilled nursing stay.
The Notice Act was passed unanimously out of Congress in summer of 2015 and requires that Medicare eligible patients receive a notice of their outpatient observation status starting on August 6, 2016. However, the Medicare Outpatient Observation Notice (MOON) has not yet been approved for use and thus delaying official implementation of the law until Fall 2016.
The August 2, 2016, final rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the implementation of the NOTICE Act can be found here. A brief summary of the NOTICE Act section of the CMS final rule put together by Hancock, Daniel, Johnson & Nagle, P.C., is here.