How Previous Illnesses Could Save You Thousands in Post-Hospital Care
Inpatient versus outpatient. That little distinction during a hospital stay means the difference between Medicare paying for your nursing-home rehabilitation and not.
We wrote about this growing problem here. The doctors and hospital decide how you’re classified. You can easily think you’re an inpatient, only to find out after discharge that you weren’t. And that’s not when you want to find out, says CNNMoney. The appeals process isn’t fun.
So try to ensure an inpatient designation during your hospital stay.
Ask your doctor and case manager what your (or your parent’s) designation is. If the answer is observation, press the doctor to review your status and take your case to the utilization review committee.
Make sure your full medical history, including past illnesses, is noted in your records. A more complete picture of your health could help you meet inpatient guidelines.
If that doesn’t work, your primary physician might be able to help, the article says. If you still can’t get the designation, consider home health care for your rehabilitation. “Medicare covers a limited amount of home help, even if you weren’t an inpatient.”
The article also explains how to appeal your designation if you can’t get it changed during your hospital stay.
Leigh Ann Otte is a freelance writer who specializes in health and aging issues. She covers finding and paying for senior care for OurParents. If you have any questions about this post or need help finding senior-care options for a loved one, call 1-866-483-4896 to speak with a care advisor in your area.