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Study: Hospital Observation Visits Growing And the Impact Expanding

  • Jun 18, 2012
  • Karen Carney
  • 2-min Read

Hospital observation stays are a growing issue for many people – especially when they find out that the co-pays under Medicare are significantly higher than when they are inpatients. A study just released by Brown University and featured in the June issue of Health Affairs found that the ratio of observation stays to inpatient admissionsincreased 34% between 2007 and 2009. And as the pressure to reduce re-hospitalizations continues, observation stays may continue to increase.

hands-hospitalAccording to Brown University, ‘while the shift in how hospitals care for elderly patients in the emergency department (ED) may reduce costs to Medicare, it can also increase out-of-pocket expenditures for patients.” The increase has also prompted many patient advocacy organizations and even attorneys general to investigate the trend, putting hospitals at risk of further scrutiny and lawsuits.

DecisionHealth Daily reported that a major class action suit has already been filed and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) and Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs) are paying closer attention too.

Lifespark services create a win-win-win for clients, hospitals and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS). The proactive guidance at the heart of the Lifespark ExperienceTM works to prevent crises that precipitate an ED visit or hospital stay, which saves the hospitals and CMS money. It also saves clients the trauma and associated costs of a crisis that go well beyond just financial into emotional, quality of life, functional and health costs.

Help your organization reduce hospitalizations, including the risk of observation stays, while improving the experience for your clients by making a referral to Lifespark. The costs for preventing a crisis are minimal compared to the financial and all the costs of a single crisis – for the client as well as our health care system. Call today at 952-345-8770 or email us.

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