WATCH OUT HOW THEY ADMIT YOU INTO THE HOSPITAL

(23LH) 2/14/14
The Two Words That Cost Medicare Patients Thousands
When it comes to Medicare claims, it’s all about the fine print on your hospital chart. Find out how being “under observation” can cost you.
Back as promised with this new warning for everyone on Medicare . Specifically, it is about the words that appear on hospital forms and small differences in the fine print that could mean thousands of dollars in payments down the line. we get details on this story tonight from our national correspondent, Kate Snow. Reporter: 79-year-old m.j. Is doing physical therapy after a bad spill in September. She spent three days in the hospital getting the same care as an in-patient but was not classified as one. Instead, her chart said she was only under observation.
What she didn’t understand, that label, under observation, technically made her an outpatient and that means that Medicare won’t care for her rehab in a nursing facility, which costs $28,000. Almost 2 million people every year that are stuck in this observation status Alice in wonderland world. Reporter: the number of patients in this status increased more than 6,000 since last year, and just this year, many more were like m.j.’s. Patients in the hospital three days or more but not eligible for costly rehab coverage.
Patients who end up in the hospital need to make sure they’re admitted as patients, not just in-patients.
Source—nbc nightly news

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