Docs, hospitals protest two-midnight rule

Share this article:

A new policy meant to reduce the number of hospital observation stays should be delayed, and stakeholders should collaborate on a better way to achieve that goal, according to the American Medical Association and American Hospital Association.

The “two-midnight rule” took effect Oct. 1. It calls for hospital stays that span two or more midnights to be considered “reasonable and necessary” for inpatient status. 

The new rule likely would decrease the number of hospital patients kept in observation status for days. A Medicare beneficiary must spend three midnights as an inpatient to qualify for skilled nursing coverage, so observation stays can saddle people with high costs for subsequent care. 

Yet the new rule is too complicated and discounts physicians' determinations about what level of care is needed, the AMA and AHA stated in a Nov. 8 letter to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. 

The groups want CMS to delay implementation until Oct. 1, 2014. They urged CMS to bring “affected stakeholders” together to “develop alternate policy solutions” to address observation stays. 


Share this article:

More in News

Dignity Award Gold won by Archie Hendricks Sr. SNF

Dignity Award Gold won by Archie Hendricks Sr. ...

A skilled nursing facility that sits on a Native American reservation has taken Gold in the Dignity category for the third annual McKnight's Excellence in Technology Awards.

Therapeutic program reverses Alzheimer's memory loss, UCLA researcher says

An intensive therapy regimen involving medication, diet and behavioral changes successfully reversed Alzheimer's-related memory loss in a first-of-its-kind trial, according to findings out of the University of California, Los Angeles.

Employee cleared of sexual assault charges wins $1 million defamation suit against ...

A former assisted living worker in South Carolina has received a $1 million award after being falsely accused of trying to sexually assault a resident, according to local news sources.