Observation Status Lies

A friend sent me an email recently about a senior who was told by a doctor that Medicare will not pay for “observation status” in a hospital.  This new rule is supposedly part of the Affordable Care Act – but I knew this was not true.  Apparently, this email promoting observation status lies has gone viral on the internet.

Factcheck.org has picked up this lying email and sets the record straight:

A letter from “Roger” — a “senior gentleman” and alleged Medicare beneficiary in Mesa, Arizona — has gone viral. In the letter, “Roger” writes about his visit to a hospital emergency room for evaluation. He says that two doctors confirmed that if “admitted” to the hospital for only “observation” services, Medicare “will not pay anything” toward his hospital bill because of the Affordable Care Act.

“I said, ‘Doc, you and I both know that under the ‘Affordable Care Act,’ anyone on Medicare who is admitted to a hospital for observation will be responsible for the bill, Medicare won’t pay a cent.’ At which point he nodded in affirmation,” he wrote.

But that’s false. Medicare will pay a significant portion of the costs for necessary observation services in hospitals. And which services are covered has nothing to do with the federal health care law.

The full Factcheck.org report can be found here:  http://www.factcheck.org/2014/05/medicare-under-observation/

I have written about how “observation status” cost a client of mine a lot of money. The title of that post was:

24-Hour Hospital Stay: $126,000 Bill!!


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