Make this difference in ‘admission’ status clear for your elder or senior family member as it makes a difference when it is time for payment to be made by your carrier.
Thanks to a complex system of rules and regulations for hospitals, providers, private insurers and Medicare/Medicaid patients, you can be in the hospital for several days – but classified as an “observation” outpatient. Which means you’re not officially “admitted.”
The rules mandate that hospitals cannot officially “admit” you as an inpatient unless you meet the medical criteria for admission. If, in the doctor’s view, you don’t meet the medical criteria for admission, but a brief hospital stay is still warranted to monitor your condition – you’re placed on “observation status.” This can even apply if you’re in the hospital for routine joint replacement with private insurance, for example, and are scheduled for discharge after one night. You’re in the hospital, but you’re not technically admitted.