CHA News Article

Senate Committee Examines Hospital Observation Stay Policies

The Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing yesterday about hospital observation stays. The committee heard testimony from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Deputy Administrator Sean Cavanaugh, Medicare Payment Advisory Commission Executive Director Mark Miller, a representative from the American Hospital Association (AHA) and a representative from a recovery audit contractor (RAC). The committee questioned the panel on the problems and complexities of the current observation stay policies, including the two-midnight rule and the backlog in hospital appeals. The AHA testified that the Medicare Audit Improvement Act (H.R. 2156) would go a long way toward ensuring the RAC program “is more accurate and fair for the Medicare program, providers and beneficiaries.” CHA continues to urge hospitals to contact their representatives in support of H.R. 2156. A recording of the hearing, as well as each witness’s written testimony, is available at