I was pleased to have this Letter To The Editor published in the Post Gazette on Friday, April 1. Important information for caregivers and patients to know!
I enjoyed reading the article “Patients Squeezed by Rising Number of Hospital Observation Cases” (March 26) by Kris B. Mamula.
This is important information to impart to the public as no one understands the difference between an observation day and an inpatient hospital stay. They also don’t realize they are going to receive a copay bill. Most hospitals do not provide any information regarding the difference.
As a health care patient advocate, educator and former health care administrator, I have met many people who were faced with copay bills or had to pay for skilled nursing care because observation days do not count as part of the Medicare three-night hospital stay requirement for skilled nursing care.
In the article, hospitals paint the picture that this has been a managed care requirement, However, they failed to mention that they do benefit from this as well. If someone is discharged from an observation days stay and then readmitted within 30 days to the hospital, the hospital will not be penalized from Medicare for a high readmission rate.
The only entities losing from this are the patients and their families!