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New Law July 1, 2015, Observation Status Medicare


Notification Requirement of Observation Status Begins July 1, 2015.

A new state law effective July 1 requires Minnesota hospitals to provide oral and written notification to patients within 24 hours of being placed in observation status and to document the date of the notice in the patient’s records.

To comply with this new law, hospitals must explain how observation status may affect the patient’s Medicare coverage for hospital services, including medications and pharmaceutical supplies, home or community-based care or care at a skilled nursing facility upon the patient’s discharge.

In addition, hospitals are required to conduct a discharge planning evaluation and provide a Medicare patient with information regarding Medicare-eligible home care agencies or skilled nursing facilities in the patient’s geographic area if needed. Once the patient has made a choice, the hospital is to assist the patient in securing care covered by the patient’s insurance. The hospital is to document in the patient record that the list of agencies or facilities was provided.

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