A study published online examining nearly 44,000 hospital stays at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison, Wisconsin found that placing Medicare patients into observation care is losing money on the practice. Typically, patients complaining of chest pain, abdominal pain and fainting were the most likely to receive observation care. Observation patients also were less likely to be discharged to a skilled nursing facility. Clinicians suggest that many aspects of observation status and reimbursement should be reevaluated as hospitals try to increase observation status to avoid readmission penalties.
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