In order to determine whether Medicare will cover the costs or not, it is important to find out if you are an inpatient or outpatient. At the hospital, patients get a letter telling them which one they are.
"When it comes to Medicare, for instance, an inpatient person would have an annual deductible of a little over $1,200 but an observation status, they would be responsible for usually about 20 percent, and for each outpatient service," explained Dr. James Trumble, case management director of Frederick Memorial Hospital.
A doctor may decide if the patient is under an observation status or need to be admitted into the hospital or not.
"As something that's just typically short-term treatment or short-term assessment and reassessment, and then a decision can be made afterwards whether somebody needs to progress to inpatient or can be discharged home," added Dr. Trumble.
While the patient is getting services under that status, they are considered an outpatient. Medicare cannot be counted towards the few days of the hospital stay. However, there are a lot of factors that come into play to decide where patients will go, officials say.
"There's something whether to be expected for short term or not. But there's also the severity of that illness. The intensity of the treatment, so if someone say is on a continuous infusion of medicine, that's much more substantial than if they're on oral medication," added Dr. Trumble.
Frederick Memorial Hospital is required to go through this federally mandated process by Medicaid and Medicare services.
If you would like to learn more about your Medicare options before heading to the hospital, click here.
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