October 13, 2013
Area(s) of Interest: Hospitals and Health Facilities Patient Care
The California Medical Association (CMA) House of Delegates has voted to take action on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) "outpatient patient observation" status, finding it to be a practice that places undue financial burden on patients, complicates the practice of medicine and often results in physicians receiving reduced payments for services provided.
Resolution 211-13, which received strong support on the floor of the House, was submitted as an emergency resolution and asked that CMA request that CMS eliminate its "outpatient patient observation" status, which is placed upon patients whose anticipated hospital stay is 48 hours or less.
Supporters of the resolution noted that this practice places undue financial burden on patients, while also creating administrative hurdles if the patient is subsequently admitted as an inpatient to the hospital.
The resolution was adopted by the House and now directs CMA staff to work with CMS to address the issue.