Wednesday, September 6, 2017

New York Times Article on Observation Stays Issue

Dana Halvorson

On September 1, 2017, the New York Times published an article written by Paula Span entitled, “Under ‘Observation,’ Some Hospital Patients Face Big Bills, on the observation stays matter.  The article focuses in on a patients impacted by the issue, and a recent federal court decision (Alexander v. Price) issued on July 31, 2017.  The decision means that Medicare patients could gain the right to appeal placement on “Observation Status” and avoid potentially large out of pocket medical bills.

AHCA/NCAL continues to keep the observation stays issue one of its top advocacy and outreach priorities.  Increasingly, patients have no idea what their status is in a hospital, or the importance of it, which can lead to thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket medical expenses should they need skilled nursing center care following their hospital stay.  In addition to placing a financial burden on seniors and their families, this anomaly in Medicare rules can cause unnecessary spend-down, accelerating the time frame in which seniors will have to turn to programs such as Medicaid to pay for their care.  For more information about the observation stays issue, please visit the AHCA/NCAL website.

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