How it can impact the cost of your care
Whether you are an inpatient or an outpatient at the hospital can have a big impact on what you pay, based on how services are covered by your insurance and/or Medicare. So when you go to the hospital, it is important to understand whether you are an inpatient or an outpatient. This sounds pretty straight forward, right? Most people assume that if they go to the hospital and stay overnight in a hospital bed that they must be an inpatient. However, this may not be the case.
Under the current health care laws, hospitals can be penalized financially under Medicare if their rate of readmissions - the rate at which previously admitted patients return for readmission within 30 days - is too high. One way in which hospitals are managing their rate of readmissions is to manage the number of patients that get admitted in the first place. Hospitals are increasingly using "observation units" to achieve this. Patients in the observation unit are not technically "admitted" even though they may be physically staying in the hospital over one or more nights. Patients can be in for a big surprise when the bills arrive and they find out they were receiving "outpatient" care, which may require a larger coinsurance payment or copayment than inpatient services under the terms of their insurance. Click this link to learn more about Medicare's handling of inpatient vs. outpatient services: Are you an inpatient or an outpatient? | Medicare.gov
When in the hospital, you or a family member should be sure to ask your doctor or hospital staff if you are an inpatient or an outpatient. You may be unable to do this depending upon your condition, so it is always important to have a strong advocate to assist in managing your care!
About SYNERGY HomeCare
SYNERGY HomeCare is the premier provider of non-medical, in-home care services. With SYNERGY you can rest assured that you will receive the utmost in quality service from our entire care team. Our Sun City office serves the communities of Sun City, Sun City West, Surprise, Glendale, Peoria, El Mirage, Youngtown and Phoenix.
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