This bill seeks to improve the information given to patients about the cost of their care. Under it, Medicare beneficiaries under outpatient care for more than 24 hours would receive a hospital notice of:
- the difference between receiving care under outpatient observation and receiving care in a hospital and why the healthcare professionals made that choice;
- the effect this decision would have on Medicare coverage or other cost-sharing mechanisms.
The bill does not require, but would allow the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to require that patients or those acting on their behalf sign the notification to show that they’ve received it. It also requires that the notification be written in plain language, and that people who would prefer to receive it orally can do so.
Hospitals would have to give 36 hours notice after placing a person under this care. If the bill passes, healthcare facilities would have one year to fully comply with the new regulations.