Groundbreaking Decision Made on Observation Status Appeals

Q. My mother, Ellen, spent a week in the hospital and ended up having surgery. She was seen by doctors and nurses, given several tests, had the surgery, and then got sent to a nursing home for two weeks of rehabilitation. She is … [Read more...]

Is There Any Recourse for Hefty Observation Status Bills?

Q. In the past, you answered questions about hospitalized people who were too sick to go home but not sick enough to be admitted. Many of them were in the hospital for a week, thinking it would be covered by Medicare. They were … [Read more...]

Critter Corner: Are We Nearing the End of Medicare’s Three-Day Rule?

Dear Ernie and Jannette, I recently saw a tweet from Seema Verma, the Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). She made it sound like an end is in sight for Medicare’s Three-Day Rule. Do you … [Read more...]

Hospitals Must Tell Medicare Patients If Care Is ‘Observation’ Only

Q. My father was in the hospital last month due to a fall in the stairwell at my parent’s split-level home. My mother wasn't able to lift him herself, so the ambulance came to assist her. They thought he seemed weak and out of … [Read more...]

Medicare Recipients Will Be Less Vulnerable to Sticker Shock in Hospitals

Over the course of a day or so, Karen’s right arm began feeling weak and her speech began to slur. She was convinced she was having a stroke, so she called 911 and was rushed to the nearest emergency room. She remained in the … [Read more...]

Her Hospital Bracelet Said She Was “Admitted.” But We Found Out After Her Discharge That She Wasn’t.

This question was sent in by J.R., in response to my article about observation status in the March 2016 Golden Gazette.  See also our recent blog posting on this topic:  … [Read more...]

Is it the End for Observation Status?

  Q. Late last year, you answered a question about a woman who spent a week in the hospital and was seen by doctors and nurses, given every kind of test imaginable, operated on, transferred to another room for … [Read more...]

She was in the Hospital a Week, and They’re Calling it Observation Status!

Image Source: Dailymail Q. Last month, my 82 year-old mother, Shirley, fainted and hit her back on the bathroom counter on her way to the ground. When she came to, she could hardly move, but she was able to grab her … [Read more...]