Nursing
e-Newsletter
Intelligence Unit Special Reports Special Events Subscribe Sponsored Departments Follow Us

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn RSS

HHS Inspector General scrutinizes Medicare rule for observation care

Kaiser Health News, July 30, 2013
Medicare patients' chances of being admitted to the hospital or kept for observation depend on what hospital they go to -- even when their symptoms are the same, notes a federal watchdog agency in a report to be released today, which also urges Medicare officials to count those observation visits toward the three-inpatient-day minimum required for nursing home coverage. The investigation, conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General, was based on 2012 Medicare hospital charges. It's findings, which underscore several years of complaints that the distinction between an inpatient and observation stay isn't always clear, come just days before the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is expected to issue final regulations intended to address the problem.