Washington, DC, United States (KaiserHealth) - The federal government may be overpaying hospitals an estimated $5 billion as a result of the 18-month moratorium on enforcing a controversial rule that tells hospitals when patients should be admitted, an independent Medicare auditing company told a congressional panel Tuesday.

Last September, Medicare officials announced that patients whose doctors expect them to stay in the hospital through two midnights or longer should be admitted, while those expected to stay for less time should be kept for observation.

But then Medicare announced a moratorium on penalizing hospitals that violate the rules. Congress has extended the moratorium through March 2015.

Dr. Ellen Evans, medical director for the auditing company, Health Data Insights, told the panel that postponing enforcement means that hospital claims for short patient visits during this time period "will never be subject to review."

The American Hospital Association later claimed that the $5 billion figure was inflated.

The hearing before the House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health was the first congressional inquiry examining the consequences of the two-midnight rule.

The rule followed strong criticism from seniors and hospitals that Medicare regulations were leading to increasing numbers of seniors being classified as observation patients. Many seniors in a regular hospital room don't know they're in observation care because hospitals aren't required to tell them.

Yet, the distinction between observation care and being admitted is important for seniors. If they have not been admitted to t... MORE

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HEADLINES

Browns fan urinates on Art Modells grave in hate video

Cesar Tordesillas - 4E Sports Contributor

Pikesville, MD, United States (4E Sports) - A YouTube video showing a Cleveland Browns fan urinating beside Art Modell's grave in Pikesville, Maryland, has received more than 10,000 hits.

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inside local news baltimore


Washington, DC, United States (KaiserHealth) - A few years ago it struck the D.C. region's biggest medical insurer that the doctors who saw its members most often and knew them best got the small ..Read More


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ProPublica Staff

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Last week, prominent sprint coach and Olympic gold medalist Jon Drummond unmasked himself as the targ ..Read More


Cesar Tordesillas - 4E Sports Contributor

Pikesville, MD, United States (4E Sports) - A YouTube video showing a Cleveland Browns fan urinating beside Art Modell's grave in Pikesville, Maryl ..Read More

SPORTS

Browns fan urinates on Art Modells grave in hate video

Cesar Tordesillas - 4E Sports Contributor

Pikesville, MD, United States (4E Sports) - A YouTube video showing a Cleveland Browns fan urinating beside Art Modell's grave in Pikesville, Maryland, has received more than 10,000 hits.

The fan in the video, titled "Browns Fan 'Pays Res... MORE

 

Politics

Coach of Tyson Gay Says He Didnt Give Sprinter Banned Substances

ProPublica Staff

Washington, DC, United States (ProPublica) - by David Epstein

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Business

Will Health Reform Bring New Role, Respect To Primary Care Physicians?

Cesar Tordesillas - 4E Sports Contributor

Pikesville, MD, United States (4E Sports) - A YouTube video showing a Cleveland Browns fan urinating beside Art Modell's grave in Pikesville, Maryland, has received more than 10,000 hits.

The fan in the video, titled "Browns Fan 'Pays Res... MORE

 

Entertainment

Man chanting I am God rams truck into TV station

Windsor Genova - Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Baltimore, MD, United States (4E) - A man chanting "I am God" rammed a truck into a TV station in Maryland and barricaded himself inside the building on Tuesday noon.

Police and SWAT teams have surrounded and entered the WMAR... MORE