Schumer: 'Flawed Medicare law' forces seniors to overpay for rehab

“This new Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act would allow senior citizens to count time spent under this ‘observation status’ towards Medicare-covered rehabilitation,” Schumer said Wednesday. “If you are holed up in a hospital bed for days on end, it shouldn’t matter what your billing status is, and this plan will save … seniors thousands.”

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Schumer said he will introduce the bill because of the uptick in “observation” cases where patients are in the hospital under observation status and considered an outpatient — meaning the hospital stay doesn’t count toward the three-day required hospital stay for Medicare covered rehab. “Observation stays” are when the hospital is assessing a patient until a decision is made that further treatment is required or if the patient can be discharged.

Schumer’s bill would ensure that patients 65 and older are eligible for coverage for their rehabilitation services, as long as they are in the hospital for three days.

Schumer said the “flawed Medicare law” is “leaving seniors high and dry.”