AHCA/NCAL Supports Reps. Doggett and Young Bill
The Doggett, Young measure works to ensure hospitals notify patients of their status
Washington, D.C. – The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) commend Congressmen Lloyd Doggett (D-TX-35) and Todd Young (R-IN-9) for introducing the Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility Act, also called the NOTICE Act. The legislation requires hospitals to give formal notice to patients within a period of time after classifying them as an inpatient or as an outpatient under observation.
“This bill is a positive step forward, and raises attention to a complex and critical issue hurting the nation’s seniors,” said Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of AHCA/NCAL. “We applaud Congressmen Doggett and Young for serving as champions for seniors and those individuals who need our services the most.”
The NOTICE Act works to ensure that hospitals notify patients entitled to Medicare part A coverage of their outpatient status within 36 hours after the time of their classification or, if sooner, upon discharge. Often times, patients have no idea what their status is in a hospital or the importance of it. This can lead to thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket medical expenses should they need skilled nursing center care following their hospital stay. The observation stays issue is a financial burden on seniors and their families. It can cause unnecessary spend-down, accelerating the time frame in which seniors will have to turn to programs such as Medicaid to pay for their care.
Although the NOTICE Act is an important step in ensuring that beneficiaries understand what is happening to them, the association continues to advocate for legislation that would address the observation stays issue once and for all. AHCA/NCAL strongly support Reps. Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Tom Latham (R-IA), along with Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) in the legislation they introduced, The Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2013, which seeks to count all hospital days spent in observation towards the three-day stay requirement. The association also continues to support the Creating Access to Rehabilitation for Every Senior (CARES) Act of 2013, introduced by Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH), and the Fairness for Beneficiaries Act of 2013, introduced by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA). For more information about observation stays and the three-day stay requirement, visit the AHCA/NCAL website.
The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represent more than 12,000 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. By delivering solutions for quality care, AHCA/NCAL aims to improve the lives of the millions of frail, elderly and individuals with disabilities who receive long term or post-acute care in our member facilities each day. For more information, please visit www.ahca.org or www.ncal.org.