Your mom has fallen in her home and you’re now sitting with her in the hospital. Nothing is broken, they said, but she suffered a back injury they want to monitor. They’d like to keep her in the hospital for observation. You say sure, why not? She stays several days and then is released to a rehab facility for follow-up care.
Medicare pays for the first 20 days a patient is in a rehab facility only if the patient is admitted and remains in the hospital for three days prior to treatment. But, according to AAPR, hospitals are increasingly leaving Medicare hospital patients “under observation” without officially admitting them.