ObamaCare is Forcing Hospitals To Dump More Costs onto Medicare Patients

December 10, 2013

Here’s the latest way ObamaCare is forcing Americans to pay more for their health care while limiting their access.

The President’s health care law penalizes hospitals that have high readmission rates, and in 2012 nearly 70% of U.S. hospitals took a financial hit. In response, hospitals are resorting to placing patients in “observation status,” in which patients are monitored and treated by doctors but never formally admitted.

However, such a classification puts patients on the hook for thousands of dollars more, because their Medicare deductible for hospital stays is no longer applicable.

It’s just another way that ObamaCare passes on heavy costs to unsuspecting consumers while claiming that its making health care more “affordable.”

From the Atlantic:

Here’s the problem for the patients: Medicare beneficiaries seen as inpatients are only charged their inpatient deductible, which was $1,184 in 2013, for hospital stays, but those under observation status can be on the hook for thousands of dollars more because they’re billed separately for every procedure and drug.

What’s more, a patient’s follow-up treatment in a nursing home, which doctors frequently recommend after an ER visit, isn’t covered by Medicare unless the person has first been a hospital inpatient for three days, and observation status doesn’t count.

For example, the New York Times reported on the case of 83-year-old Miriam Nyman, who unbeknownst to her was under observation status all four nights of her hospital stay after a severe fall. As a result, Nyman was stuck with a $35,000 tab for her follow-up nursing home care.