Bill Would Loosen Rule For Medicare Nursing Home Coverage

Law360, New York (March 15, 2013, 7:44 PM EDT) -- Lawmakers on Thursday introduced legislation that would loosen the requirement that Medicare beneficiaries spend at least three days as a hospital inpatient before being eligible for care at a skilled nursing home, proposing that days spent on outpatient “observation” status will also count.

The observation status issue is a side effect of an increasingly heated conflict between hospitals and Medicare over the billing of inpatient services.

Currently, Medicare will only pay for post-hospital care in a nursing home or other skilled nursing facility if a beneficiary...
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