Statement for the Record Senate Health, Education and Labor Committee Full Committee Hearing Lower Health Care Costs Act

The undersigned organizations of the Observation Stays Coalition have come together to address a surprise medical billing issue that affects Medicare patients in hospitals who are called observation status patients or outpatients, although the medically necessary care they need and receive is no different from the medically necessary care provided to formally admitted inpatients. The classification as observation or outpatient is significant, however, because the Medicare statute covers a post-hospital stay in a skilled nursing facility only if the patient was hospitalized for three consecutive days as an inpatient…

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