New Medicare Notice Requirements
Thankfully, a law has recently gone into effect that requires hospitals to notify individuals who have been categorized as outpatients receiving observation services. Hospitals are required to issue these aptly named Medicare Outpatient Observation Notices, or MOON notices for short, beginning March 8, 2017. Unfortunately, hospitals do not have to provide that notice to patients until 36 hours after the observation services have begun or when the patient is discharged, whichever comes first. Obviously, this time frame is not very helpful for those in a crisis situation trying to figure out if an impending nursing home stay will be covered by Medicare. The best course of action is still to ask the hospital administration whether you are are being kept under observation or as an inpatient. If you are being held under observation, ask for your doctor to order your admission and be sure that the hospital processes that order and maintains that status until you are discharged.
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