Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) is introducing a bill to change Medicare law so that elderly patients are not charged unfairly...Read more
Obama Signs Law Requiring Hospitals to Warn of Costly Medicare Loophole
- August 14th, 2015
President Obama has signed a new law intended to prevent Medicare beneficiaries from spending days in a hospital only to find that they hadn’t been admitted to the hospital at all – they were only under “observation.” This is important because Medicare covers nursing home stays entirely for the first 20 days, but only if the patient was first admitted to a hospital as an inpatient for at least three days. Many beneficiaries are being transferred to nursing homes only to find that because they were hospital outpatients all along, they must pick up the tab for the subsequent nursing home stay -- Medicare will pay none of it.
The new law, the Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility (NOTICE) Act, does not eliminate the practice of placing patients under “observation” for extended periods, but it does require hospitals to notify patients who are under observation for more than 24 hours of their outpatient status within 36 hours, or upon discharge if that occurs sooner. The notification will have to explain to patients that because they are receiving outpatient, not inpatient, care, their hospital stay will not count toward the three-day inpatient stay requirement and that they will be subject to Medicare’s outpatient cost-sharing requirements. The law does not make hospital observation stays count towards Medicare’s three-day requirement, as some lawmakers had proposed.
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Hale Ball Carlson Baumgartner Murphy PLC
Loretta Morris Williams is a certified elder law attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. Ms. Williams was admitted to the Council of Advanced Practitioners, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) in 2012. She serves as President of the Virginia Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Ms. Willia...
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For Jeffrey Hammond, the practice of Elder Law is personal. Jeff’s many years of experience in law and in business did not prepare him for the crisis he faced in 2005 and 2006 when his father suffered a stroke and both of his parents suffered from dementia and other medical problems. At that time, Jeff began an i...
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John Laster is a lawyer licensed to practice in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. He limits his practice to wealth transfer planning, trusts, wills, powers of attorney, health care decision-making issues, estate administration and related tax, elder law and disability concerns. Listed in The Best Lawyers...