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August 16, 2012

Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Observation Status ~ Let Your Voice Be Heard!

Learning of unexpected expenses related to “in-patient” vs. “observation” hospital status leaves many hospitalized patients and their families confused and upset. And, when they find out that a “three overnight stay” in the hospital did not count as a pre-condition of payment of care in a skilled nursing facility when rehab is needed, the related expenses can rapidly deplete hard earned savings. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued notice of proposed rulemaking published in the Federal Register on July 30, 2012, and is asking for public comment. Take the opportunity to share your experience with observation status and to recommend changes that you believe would improve access to medically necessary hospital and skilled nursing facility care!

Relief for the Family Caregiver

When a family caregiver is providing care for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia it is a tremendous burden, both physically and mentally on the caregiver. The responsibility on the caregiver increases dramatically as the disease progresses. For that reason, it is so important for the caregiver to know that relief is out there. For example, local Alzheimer’s organizations can provide you with information and community support systems and groups.

Connecting the Dots for Caregivers

When Mary learned that her husband of 56 years was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, she was faced with the reality that John had a terminal disease that is currently the sixth leading cause of death in the United States*1!

Who Wants to Go to a Nursing Home?

When I give presentations to families who are concerned about needing home care for themselves and their loved ones, I always ask, "Who wants to go to a nursing home?" Not surprisingly, no one ever raises their hand.
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