Medicare Patients 'Under Observation' Face Higher Costs

Simply put: When you're under observation, you're often less insured.

Doctors at Gulf Coast Medical Center were about to discharge 95-year-old June Stanley to a rehabilitation center last spring when Stanley's daughter remembered something she had read about how hospitals classify patients.

Was her mother admitted during her stay?, Carole Brokke wondered. Or had medical staff considered her only "under observation," despite her three days in a hospital bed?

The answer would mean the difference between a standard Medicare bill or one with potentially tens of thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs. It turns out that Stanley, who had recently taken a hard fall at a Lehigh Acres nursing home, had not been officially admitted. Insurance would not pay for skilled nursing care.

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Source: News Press