Other Voices: Growing Number Of Patients Find A Hospital Stay Does Not Mean They’re Admitted

Be sure you know whether it's an inpatient stay or an observation services stay!Recently we wrote about the growing concerns about increasing numbers of  elderly patients facing unexpected and unaffordable bills for skilled nursing facility stays that they thought were going to be covered by Medicare, but which weren’t.  The “catch” is that their hospital stays before they were discharged to skilled nursing have been classified as admissions for  “observation” rather than as “inpatient” care, sometimes retroactively.

There’s a big difference: Medicare will only pay for skilled nursing facility care after the patient has been in the hospital for three consecutive days on “inpatient” status, but not if those days were for “observation”.  What’s worse, sometimes the patients’ “inpatient” stans has been changed to “observation” status retroactively after discharge.  That’s not “fair”, but it does happen.

Kaiser Health News has just published a great story about this and we’re writing here to give our visitors and readers a link to the story, even though we’ve already written about this issue.  The Kaiser story is at: Growing Number Of Patients Find A Hospital Stay Does Not Mean They’re Admitted.  Take a look, it’s a very good summary of the issues.

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Originally posted 2010-09-07 16:06:55.

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Tim Colling

Tim Colling is the founder and President of A Servant's Heart In-Home Care, which provided in-home caregiving services in San Diego County, and also of A Servant's Heart Geriatric Care Management, which provided
professional geriatric care management services and long term care placement services in San Diego County. Tim has more than 30 years of experience in management in a variety of industries. He held a Certified Care Manager credential from the National Academy of Certified Care Managers. Tim is also a Certified Public Accountant (retired), and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from California State University at San Diego. In addition to writing blog posts here for the Servant’s Heart blog, Tim also is a regular contributor to HealthLine.com and to FamilyAffaires.com as well as blogs of other eldercare services provider companies. Finally, Tim is also the president of A Servant's Heart Web Design and Marketing, which provides home care marketing as well as website design and online marketing for those who serve the elderly and their families.

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