Congress has passed and the President has signed into law H.R. 876, the Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility, or NOTICE Act. The bill requires hospitals that hold any Medicare beneficiaries for longer than 24-hours under observation to provide the beneficiaries with oral and written notification of their outpatient status and its potential implications for eligibility for Medicare coverage of subsequent post-acute care.
It’s important that people are aware and should expect to receive this notice, and if they don’t to ask about it. If your loved one is in the hospital for 3 days, under the Medicare Part A program they should be entitled to receive rehabilitation therapy which would be paid by Medicare. This is the case if the days in the hospital are not being considered Observation days. We have seen resident’s go to the hospital for 5 days and not be covered under Medicare when they come back to Green Hill for rehabilitation therapy because 4 of the 5 days were considered ‘observation days’. A resident can appeal what is considered an observation stay and with proper notification can do so while the resident is still in the hospital.