CHA News Article

CMS Posts FAQs on Medicare Outpatient Observation Notice

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has posted frequently asked questions about the Medicare Outpatient Observation Notice (MOON), which went into effect March 8. The FAQs provide more information about how to complete the MOON’s “free text field,” which is intended to address the reason patients are in outpatient observation care rather than inpatient care. The FAQs also address alternate languages, modifying the form, and whether the form should be provided to Medicare Advantage enrollees.

As a reminder, CMS requires hospitals, acute psychiatric hospitals and critical access hospitals to provide all Medicare-eligible patients who receive outpatient observation services for more than 24 hours with a written MOON and oral notification. In addition, as of Jan. 1, state law requires hospitals to provide a written notice to a patient on observation status who is cared for in a hospital’s inpatient unit or in an observation unit, or following a change in a patient’s status from inpatient to observation. The notification must be provided as soon as practicable. A CHA webinar on the notification requirements of state and federal law is available at