CHA News Article

President Signs NOTICE Act Into Law
Bill requires notification of observation status

President Obama last week signed legislation, the Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility (NOTICE) Act, requiring hospitals to provide Medicare beneficiaries with written notification and a related oral explanation at discharge or within 36 hours, whichever is sooner, if they receive more than 24 hours of outpatient observation services. The legislation, passed by the House in March and the Senate in late July, will be effective one year from enactment. The written notification must explain in plain language the Medicare patient’s status as an outpatient under observation, the reasons for that status and the implications for cost sharing and Medicare skilled-nursing facility coverage. The notice must be available in appropriate languages and signed by the patient or their representative, or by hospital staff if the former refuse to sign it.