Attention please Medicare Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt, correct violations of Medicare regulations and the essence of Medicare
Dear Administrator Slavitt
Steven E. Brown, CEO and President of State College PA’s excellent hospital...
ultimately is responsible for ensuring the admission practices at his hospital are not merely legal but proper. For a variety of reasons, admitting me to the hospital is more expensive than for most patients. Hence, after waiting to be admitted last Friday night, I was presented with a paper to sign. The paper said that I understood that I was being admitted on “observation status.”
Politely, I demurred. “You don’t mind if I do not sign this?” I asked the excellent physician who presented it to me. He said that signing it was not obligatory. He then gave me a copy of the form with the notation that I had not signed it.
I was then admitted to the hospital and enjoyed the benefits of an excellent hospital room, superb food, sensitive nurses, and an understanding physician. When I was expelled from the hospital against my will, my case manager explained that I had no recourse to file an appeal with Medicare because technically I had not been formally admitted as a patient.
I am not an attorney. Given the nature of Medicare regulations and the understandable concern of hospital administrators that costs be kept to a minimum, whoever is responsible for this flimflam may get away with it. However, this slight of hand is not only a sin, it is foolish. Forcing a patient out of the hospital before he has been properly treated (against the wishes of his physician) has negative short-term and long-term consequences.