More than 100 members of the House of Representatives have called on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to delay implementation of a new rule intended to limit the number of hospital patients under "observation" status.
Hospital observation stays have been increasing, as have Medicare auditors' denial of claims related to short inpatient stays on the basis that they should have been counted as observation stays. Observation stays often causes headaches for long-term care administrators and frustration for families.
Medicare beneficiaries would be eligible for Part A coverage of skilled nursing care without a preceding hospital stay under a new bill introduced by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA).
Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) has introduced legislation that would allow hospital "observation status" to count toward the requisite three-day hospital stay for Medicare-funded nursing home care.