View Entire Collection
By Clinical Topic
Diabetes – Summer 2012
Future of Nursing Initiative
Heart Failure - Fall 2011
Influenza - Winter 2011
Nursing Ethics - Fall 2011
Trauma - Fall 2010
Traumatic Brain Injury - Fall 2010
Fluids & Electrolytes
THURSDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) -- From 2007 to 2009, there was an increase in the prevalence and duration of hospital observation services for Medicare beneficiaries, according to a study published in the June issue of Health Affairs.
Zhanlian Feng, Ph.D., from Brown University in Providence, R.I., and colleagues analyzed nationwide Medicare enrollment and claims data to identify the prevalence and duration of hospital observation services in the fee-for-service Medicare population, aged 65 years and older, from 2007 to 2009.
The researchers identified a rising trend in the prevalence and duration of hospital observation services, along with a decrease in inpatient admissions. There was a 34 percent increase noted in the ratio of observation stays to inpatient admissions, from 86.9 observation stay events per 1,000 inpatient admissions per month in 2007 to 116.6 in 2009. There was an increase in hospital observation care for Medicare beneficiaries who were treated as outpatients, potentially exposing them to increased out-of-pocket expenses if admitted to skilled nursing facilities. There was an increase in the duration of observation, with some of the nearly one million beneficiaries being held for observation for more than 72 hours. Geographic and hospital variation was observed in the prevalence of observation services.
"This may be an unintended consequence of Medicare payment policies designed to constrain hospital admissions," the authors write. "Additional research is needed to pinpoint the drivers and consequences of this phenomenon, as is more clarity in clinical practice and Medicare policy guidelines regarding observation care."
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)
Sign up for our free enewsletters to stay up-to-date in your area of practice - or take a look at an archive of prior issues
Join our CESaver program to earn up to 100 contact hours for only $34.95
Explore a world of online resources
Back to Top