NOTICE Act Makes Notification of Observation Status Law
September 8, 2015 by Vickie Anenberg
Earlier this month, President Obama signed the Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility (NOTICE) Act. This legislation is designed to ensure Medicare patients fully understand their financial liability concerning the “two midnight rule” of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) with which healthcare facilities are very familiar. Many Medicare recipients have been confused, because they thought that by being in a facility overnight for observation meant they were inpatients, when in fact, they were not.
Cross Country Staffing notes that HealthLeaders Media has posted an excellent article about this complicated and controversial subject. In it, the editor cites the following provisions of NOTICE, which goes into effect in one year, and requires hospitals to:
- Explain the individual's status as an outpatient and not as an inpatient and the reasons why
- Explain the implications of that status on services furnished (including those furnished as an inpatient), in particular the implications for cost-sharing requirements and subsequent coverage eligibility for services furnished by a skilled nursing facility
- Include appropriate additional information
- Be written and formatted using plain language and made available in appropriate languages
- Be signed by the individual or a person acting on the individual's behalf (representative) to acknowledge receipt of the notification, or if the individual or representative refuses to sign, the written notification is signed by the hospital staff who presented it
NOTICE adds still another layer of legal responsibility on the nation’s hospitals that further compounds the burden healthcare facilities must shoulder to remain competitive and financially viable.
Cross Country Staffing can help in relieving these burdens by providing cost-effective professional healthcare and IT staffing. We have designed scalable, comprehensive workforce solutions that are proven to meet even the most complex staffing challenges. Your facility’s solution begins by talking with a Cross Country Staffing representative, and ends with a long-term partnership that will meet your current and future staffing needs.