"In the Hospital, but Not Really a Patient"

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"In the Hospital, but Not Really a Patient"

Postby Robin » Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:40 pm

This blog post last Friday in the New York Times is about the fact that someone with Medicare can be a patient in the hospital but not be an "admitted patient." The person may actually be in the hospital under "observation." These "observation days" do not count towards the three-day hospital stay required by Medicare to get short-term skilled nursing care that is paid for by Medicare. Surprisingly, according to the article, a hospital can" retroactively change a patient's status from admitted to observed."

The article refers to this Medicare publication, "Are You a Hospital Inpatient or Outpatient? I f You Have Medicare - Ask!" See:

Here's a link to the blog post:

http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2012 ... a-patient/

The New Old Age: Caring and Coping
New York Times
June 22, 2012, 6:00 am

In the Hospital, but Not Really a Patient
By Paula Span
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Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2004 2:32 am
Location: USA - Northern CA

Re: "In the Hospital, but Not Really a Patient"

Postby CarlaL48 » Fri May 24, 2013 1:36 pm

Like many folks, we learned of this government scam the hard way. EMTs took my husband to the ER after falling three times in one evening and my not being able to get him up. After a four-day stay, we received a bill for medications given at the hospital. When I inquired, I was told that Medicare (Part A, I believe) only pays for medications for an "admitted" patient, not for one "under observation."

The dear lady also told me that she'd been in my shoes with her mother and advised me not to bother calling Medicare, that they will simply respond that we should read their manuals/pamphlets/propaganda/etc.

Gee, I hate big government and I hate the way callous bureaucrats treat living, breathing human beings as commodities, one part easily replaced by another! :evil:
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Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 4:23 pm
Location: Arlington, TX

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