BLOG: Inpatient admission or observation services: Do we finally have some clarity?

To the Medicare program, observation services include short-term treatment and assessment for the purpose of determining whether a beneficiary can be discharged from a hospital or will require further treatment as an inpatient. For hospitals, a physician’s order for observation services will frequently create a compliance headache that can result in reimbursement denials, recovery audit contractor program (RAC) takebacks, or worse. For Medicare beneficiaries, observation services may look and feel just like an inpatient stay (until their bill arrives). For all parties involved, distinguishing between an inpatient admission and observation (Read more...)

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