CHA joined 33 other health- or aging-focused organizations in a letter urging passage of the Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act. The legislation would make days spent by a patient in observation count toward Medicare's three-day inpatient stay requirement to qualify for skilled nursing care coverage.
The letter was sent Sept. 18 to the chairman and the ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Currently, time patients spend under observation is considered outpatient care. The letter notes that patients discharged from observation to skilled nursing facilities can face the decision to pay high, often-unexpected bills for skilled care or to forego needed follow-up care.
The letter points out that Medicare had waived the three-day stay rule during the pandemic.
Among the letter's other signatories are the American Medical Association, AARP and Leading Age.