The House and the Senate introduced legislation, the "Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2013" (S.569), that would allow time spent in a hospital under “observation status” to count toward the requisite three-day hospital stay for Medicare coverage of skilled nursing care. Reforming “observation status” is an important public policy priority for all Elder Care attorneys and health care providers.
Tomorrow (April 16) is National Healthcare Decisions Day, a massive effort by national, state, and community organizations to highlight the importance of advance healthcare decision-making.
Over 80 percent of older adults recognize the importance of planning ahead -- for having a plan in place for healthcare decisions, who makes them and what decisions will be made -- in the event they can't do so themselves. Yet only about a third have actually implemented such a plan: that is, signed an advance healthcare directive or done anything more than just had a brief conversation with a loved one ("I don't want to be hooked up to a machine!").
Why is the uptake on advance healthcare decision-making so slight? What can we do to improve?
From time to time we encounter a family that is contemplating a move for an elder family member to Tennessee and we are asked about establishing residency.