Medicare requires beneficiaries to have a three-day inpatient hospital stay in order to qualify for skilled nursing facility (SNF) care. Unfortunately, too many beneficiaries continue to be classified as hospital outpatients on observation status, thereby eliminating their ability to receive Medicare-covered SNF care. In a recent Tweet, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma acknowledged that the three-day inpatient hospital stay rule does not make sense.
The Center for Medicare Advocacy agrees with Administrator Verma and is eager to work with CMS to eliminate this obstacle to necessary care.
- For more information about the Center’s work on outpatient observation status, please visit: https://www.medicareadvocacy.org/medicare-info/observation-status/.
- To learn how prior inpatient hospital rules affect Medicare’s home health benefit, please read: https://www.medicareadvocacy.org/more-doors-to-medicare-home-health-closing-more-harm-for-observation-status-patients/.