Medicare has a New “Outpatient Notice” Equal Moon
More Medicare recipients are being notified they are receiving services as an “outpatient” even though they are being given service in a hospital or emergency room. The effect of labeling someone as an ‘outpatient” directly affects what their health insurance covers and whether they will be entitled to any services at a skilled nursing facility after they are discharged.
Medicare, is now requiring Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals as of March 8, 2017, to provide notification to individuals receiving observation services as outpatients for more than 24 hours to explain to them they have the status of being an “outpatient”, not an “inpatient” and the implications of this status.
They are required to furnish a new standardized notice which is called the “Medicare Outpatient Observation Notice (MOON) to any Medicare beneficiary who has been receiving observation services before such individuals have received more than 24 hours of observation service. The notice must be provided no later than 36 hours after observation services are initiated, or if sooner, upon release.
The MOON will inform more than one million beneficiaries annually of the reason(s) they are an outpatient receiving observation services and the implications of such status with regard to Medicare cost sharing and coverage for post-hospitalization skilled nursing facility (SNF) services.
In summary, if you are given a MOON form- you may physically be in a hospital, but you are not considered as having been “admitted” to the hospital.
Ms. MacDonald’s practice is limited to estate planning, probate and trust administration. Ms. MacDonald maintains her practice in the Santa Clarita Valley at 25115 Avenue Stanford, Suite A-209, Valencia in California. She can be reached at 661-294-6464.
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