According to a February 10, 2017, email from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), manual instructions regarding implementation of the Medicare Outpatient Observation Notice (MOON) are now available on the CMS website. The new manual instructions provide more specific detail on notice delivery and are available online.
CMS released the MOON, along with its form instructions, December 2016. The MOON is a standardized notice to inform beneficiaries (including Medicare health plan enrollees) that they are an outpatient receiving observation services and are not an inpatient of the hospital or critical access hospital (CAH). Outpatient status affects a patient’s ability to receive Medicare coverage for post-acute care in a skilled nursing center. The MOON is mandated by the Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility Act (NOTICE Act) enacted on August 6, 2015. AHCA/NCAL supports the NOTICE Act law. The NOTICE Act requires all hospitals and CAHs to provide written and oral notification under specified guidelines. Hospitals and CAHs must begin using the MOON no later than March 8, 2017. For questions concerning the MOON, please send an email to: MoonMailbox@cms.hhs.gov