December 25th, 2013
By Tony Provine
IMAGINE this: You’re 68 years old. You were recently hospitalized due to an urgent condition. After three days you were discharged to a nursing facility for a few weeks of therapy and recovery. Now you’re on the mend and your mind is eased by the knowledge that your hospital stay, medications and nursing home stint are all covered by Medicare.
Not always, to the surprise of many Medicare beneficiaries. You can be stuck with huge bills that result from an important distinction under current law.
Medicare currently requires that patients have at least three consecutive days of “inpatient status” in the hospital to qualify for recovery time in a skilled-nursing facility.