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Medicare: Understanding “Observation Status” Effect on Medicare Coverage

The rule was that one needed at least a three day hospital stay to qualify for Medicare coverage. Medicare benefits continue to be eroded by hospitals now using “observation status”  to prevent patients from meeting the “three day hospital stay” requirement to qualify for Medicare coverage.  Technically, patients are not “admitted” for care but rather to be observed to ensure there isn’t a problem that requires treatment. The concern is that this distinction is being overused and even abused to the detriment of Seniors who really need better medical oversight.

This is a separate issue from early termination of Medicare coverage.  In short, if  rehabilitation would be beneficial to the patient, which includes enabling the patient to maintain rather than regress, Medicare coverage may not be terminated merely because no further progress is expected.  An Elder Law attorney can help you resolve problems in this regard.