Long-Term Care

MedPAC wants to eliminate observation stay

MDS 3.0 Insider, November 14, 2014

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Observation status is not working as a way of classifying hospital patients and should be eliminated, members of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission proposed at a Nov. 6 meeting.
 
The increasing prevalence of hospital observation stays has been of sharp concern to post-acute providers. Under current rules, Medicare will only cover skilled nursing services after a beneficiary spends three days as a hospital inpatient, and time spent in observation is not counted toward this threshold. About 11,000 hospital stays ended with a non-covered discharge to a skilled nursing facility in 2012, staffers told MedPAC members during a presentation last Thursday.

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