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How Hospitals Pass Their Obamacare Penalties on to Patients
The Atlantic

Let’s say you were to fall off the ladder while putting up your trademark, Clark Griswold-style Christmas lights. You’re rushed to the emergency room, evaluated, and stabilized. Then the hospital has several options: They can send you home or admit you as an inpatient for further treatment. But increasingly, hospitals are shuffling older patients to a third alternative, a category called “observation status” under which patients are monitored (and often treated) by doctors, but never formally “admitted” in the eyes of either the hospital or the insurer.

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