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The Center for Medicare Advocacy repeatedly hears about Medicare beneficiaries throughout the country whose entire stay in a hospital, including stays as long as 14 days, is classified by the hospital as outpatient observation.

As a consequence of the classification of a hospital stay as outpatient observation, beneficiaries are charged for various services they received in the acute care hospital, including their prescription medications.  They are also charged for their entire subsequent SNF stay, having never satisfied the statutory three-day hospital stay requirement.

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