Help End the Harmful Use of Observation Status Today!

Observation Status refers to the increasingly common hospital practice of putting patients in beds and providing them with medical and nursing care, diagnostic tests, treatments, medication, services, food, and a wristband - but calling them outpatients on observation status, not inpatients

That seemingly small difference in terminology makes all the difference in the world for Medicare beneficiaries: Inpatients qualify for Medicare coverage of their nursing home care following a hospital stay. Hospital outpatients on Observation Status don't.

$30,000 - that's Mrs. Kauffman's nursing home bill for care she received after being hospitalized for three full days. Because the hospital classified her as an outpatient on "observation status," Mrs. Kauffman was responsible for the entire nursing home bill.

Send a message to your Senators and your Representatives in Congress:

1) Tell them about the medical and financial harm caused by Observation Status.
2) Ask them to join the fight to end this harm by supporting the "Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2013" (House Bill No. H.R. 1179 and Senate Bill No. S.569). This bill offers a simple and straightforward solution to the problem of observation status for patients.

Help end Observation Status. Send your legislators a message today!
Support the Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2013 (H.R. 1179 and S. 569)

Dear [Representative],

I am writing to urge you to support the Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2013 (H.R. 1179 and S. 569).

[Your comment will be added here]

Medicare beneficiaries' are being denied their necessary healthcare coverage when a stay in an acute care hospital is labeled "outpatient observation" rather than inpatient. This unjust and unfair practice cannot continue - beneficiaries are forced to skip necessary care, or pay out of pocket for services they should be receiving as part of their benefit.

Observation status refers to the increasingly common hospital practice of putting patients in beds and providing them with medical and nursing care, diagnostic tests, treatments, medication, services, food, and a wristband – but calling them outpatients, not inpatients.

This difference in terminology makes all the difference in the world: Inpatients qualify for Medicare coverage of their nursing home care but outpatients don't.

This bipartisan bill offers a simple and straightforward solution to the problem of observation status for patients. In fact, there is no organized opposition to this bill- and yet, everyday the use of Observation Status is harming more and more Medicare beneficiaries and their families. Now is the time to end Observation Status!

Support the Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2013 and support a full and fair Medicare program for today - and tomorrow.

Yours truly,

[Your name]
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