By Diane Weinstein, Executive Director, EPOCH Assisted Living at Melbourne
During a hospital stay, do you know if you’re considered an “outpatient” or “inpatient”? According to AARP, for most patients the distinction between the two labels is meaningless – after all, you are getting exactly the same care. But a label can have costly consequences.
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, your hospital status affects how much you pay for services such as X-rays, drugs and lab tests. It may also affect whether Medicare will cover care you get in a skilled nursing facility. Medicare will only cover the care you receive if you first have a “qualifying hospital stay,” which means you have been a hospital inpatient for at least three days in a row, counting the day you were admitted, but not counting the day of your discharge.