Provider groups lobby for Medicare observation stay fix

Share this article:

Long-term care provider groups said at a congressional briefing Thursday that they want a Medicare policy on observation stays in hospitals to be changed.  

Under existing rules, 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.

“Patients are confused and don't understand why there is a possibility of not receiving appropriate and necessary skilled nursing care,” Gail Sheridan, an American Health Care Association representative, told lawmakers. “Patients and their families deserve clarity and peace of mind that they can get the quality skilled nursing care they need.”

A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced the Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2011 last April in a move to correct this rule. The legislation would adjust 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.

Other groups represented at the briefing include the American Medical Directors Association, LeadingAge, AHCA and AARP among others.

Share this article:

More in News

NY nursing home agrees to $2.2 million settlement in case of false documentation

NY nursing home agrees to $2.2 million settlement ...

Nursing home operator Ralex Services Inc. has agreed to a $2.2 million settlement in a whistleblower case involving forged documents at a facility in New Rochelle, New York.

Common soaps could endanger healthcare workers, study finds

Healthcare facilities should consider replacing antibacterial soaps containing the chemical triclosan, University of California-San Francisco researchers assert in a recent Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine article. The conclusion echoes recently updated hand hygiene guidelines.

Mandatory staff hours, better high-acuity care could improve quality of life in ...

A nursing home's staffing patterns and admissions trends are among the most important factors driving residents' quality of life over time, according to recently published research findings.