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Hospital Patients Concerned With Being “Under Observation”

The number of hospital patients being termed "under observation" is rising dramatically, a trend that is catching many senior citizens off guard – and leaving them with hefty medical bills. Mary Jo George with AARP says for coverage of some services, Medicare requires a patient to be admitted, and being there with an observation status does not count.
 
A new report from AARP shows the use of the observation status by hospitals more than doubled between 2001 and 2009, as did the length of time spent in observation, with visits longer than 48 hours increasing the most.

 

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