Length of Stay

Which guidelines should hospitals follow for an observation stay?

Both national evidence-based guidelines and insurance company guidelines factor into level of care determination.   When it comes to determining a patient’s level of care for a short hospital stay, observation services are generally used for short-term monitoring, testing and evaluation to establish a treatment plan, and to give the treatment team time to see …

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How does the two-midnight rule apply when a traditional Medicare patient has no safe discharge plan?

For a traditional Medicare patient admitted for observation, it is not uncommon to remain in the hospital longer than two midnights due to non-medical reasons including waiting for a transfer to another facility or family situations. In these cases, the reason the patient remains hospitalized is the lack of a safe discharge plan. Should such …

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Several factors and considerable feedback led CMS to keep the inpatient only list

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ decision to not eliminate the inpatient only list (IPO) was due to the numerous comments and feedback it received from the medical community, the COVID-19 public health emergency and the fact that the change “transpired quickly,” according to the final rule (CMS-1753FC) issued in December.1 Heading into 2022, …

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Appealing denials through the Medicare Claims Appeals Process works

Though it took time and effort, an administrative law judge ruled in favor of a client hospital and overturned a Medicare claim denial for a total knee replacement surgery. The hospital can now fully recover the cost of that surgery, with interest. The case dates back to 2015 when a traditional Medicare patient underwent a …

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Good documentation can reduce hospital admission denials

We all know in clinical medicine that documentation is everything. Hence the old saying “If it’s not documented, then it didn’t happen.” This is particularly true outside of the clinical realm in the insurance world. Level of care is based on the clinical condition of the patient, how they present and how that meshes with …

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