Bill would correct post-hospitalization Medicare loophole

Share this article:
A bipartisan group of House and Senate members have proposed legislation that would ensure that seniors have access to skilled nursing care after being hospitalized for observation.

Provider groups, including the American Health Care Association, applauded the legislation.

The bill, Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2011, tweaks the Social Security Act so that seniors' time spent under observation status at a hospital would satisfy the three-day stay skilled nursing requirement for Medicare coverage. Currently, in order to have skilled nursing care after a hospitalization, a Medicare beneficiary must be considered a hospital inpatient. If the patient is admitted for an observation stay, Medicare can deny coverage and the patient must pay out-of-pocket for subsequent nursing home care.

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) introduced the Senate version of the bill, and Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Tom Latham (R-IA) introduced the House version.

"This common sense change will ensure that seniors no longer face thousands of dollars in bills for skilled care because of an arbitrary federal policy," said Courtney. "There are no two ways about it: Three days in the hospital are three days in the hospital. Anyone who meets that threshold should receive the same benefit from Medicare."

Share this article:
close

Next Article in News

More in News

'Minor' issues at the nursing home can cause disastrous care transitions, expert warns

'Minor' issues at the nursing home can cause ...

What may appear to be minor administrative problems in a nursing home - a fax machine locked away at night or no one designated to copy paperwork - can cause ...

Long-term care facilities approach 80% worker flu vaccination rate after handing power ...

Fourteen long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania dramatically increased their staff flu vaccination rate by having a regional pharmacy take over the process, according to a report issued Thursday by the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHQR).

RACs were 'most improved' healthcare auditors for getting back money in 2013, ...

Medicare Recovery Audit Contractors dramatically stepped up their overpayment recoveries last year, returning nearly $487 million more to the government than they did in 2012, according to a new report from a federal watchdog agency.