Noteworthy News

“Observation Status” Draws Attention

Members of Congress are taking a closer look at hospital “observation status” in which patients occupy regular hospital beds for a short period of time yet have not technically been admitted to the hospital.

Medicare patients designated with this status can be left with large hospital bills and lack of coverage for needed post-acute services.  Many such patients have no idea they were never actually admitted to the hospital.

The financial implications of observation can be especially troublesome for patients served by urban safety-net hospitals, many of whom have limited means with which to pay unexpected medical bills or to obtain any post-acute care they may need.

Read more about this issue, including who is behind this congressional interest and why the issue has come to the fore, in this Niagara (NY) Gazette article.iStock_000001497717XSmall

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