Under current Medicare payment policy, in order for Medicare to cover skilled-nursing facility (SNF) services, the beneficiary must have an “inpatient” hospital stay lasting at least three days. Many beneficiaries are often unaware that the hospital has admitted them for “observation” rather than “inpatient” status since they are receiving the same services in the hospital. Those admitted for “observation” who later receive SNF services are surprised when they are billed for the services rather than the services being covered by Medicare.
Most Medicare Advantage plans have already eliminated the inpatient requirement and it’s time for traditional Medicare to move in that direction as it will not only benefit the patient but also prove to be more cost effective.
I am asking your readers, either seniors or senior care givers to write their congressperson (since Renton is outrageously gerrymandered) or senator regarding Creating Access to Rehabilitation for Every Senior (CARES) Act (H.R. 3531) to move it out of the House Ways and Means Committee and to be passed by the House. Also, email your Sens. Caldwell and Murray requesting that she introduce a companion bill to H.R. 3531 in the Senate and work to get it through committee and passed by the Senate.