Observation Status and Vermonters
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'Observation Status' is a Medicarie designation for a hospital stay that patients experience as inpatients receiving care, but that Medicare considers outpatient. Increasingly, many Vermonters, like seniors across the country, have already suffered financial hardship particularly with rehab and nursing home bills when they transfer from the hospital from a short stay because Medicare will not cover them if they have been on 'observation status'. Virginia Milkey, Executive Director of the Community of Vermont Elders (COVE), Statewide Senior Health Insurance Program coordinator, Michael Richards, and Rachel Seelig, Vermont Long Term Care Ombudsmen, through Vermont Legal Aid, provide insights into the issue.