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In The Hospital Under Observation? What To Know

In the Hospital Under Observation? What to Know

First, the good news: If you’re in the hospital under observation status—a designation under which you’re considered an outpatient and not entitled to Medicare Part A reimbursement for your stay—a new law says the hospital must give you both written and oral notification that you’re not covered.

Being under observation means that you’re too sick to go home but not sick enough to warrant hospital admission. This law ensures that you won’t be surprised by large hospital bills you’ll have to pay out of pocket—bills that Medicare might normally pay had you been admitted as an inpatient.

Here’s the bad news: The hospital has up to 36 hours after you’ve received observational services to notify you, and even so,…

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