Welcome to the Bristol Hospital Observation Status Information Center. On this page, we will provide you with updated information on observation care including news media coverage and other important information.
Some seniors think Medicare made a mistake. Others are just stunned when they find out that being in a hospital for days doesn't always mean they were actually admitted. Instead, they received observation care, considered by Medicare to be an outpatient service. Yet, a recent government investigation found that observation patients often have the same health problems as those who are admitted. But the observation designation means they can have higher out-of-pocket expenses and fewer Medicare benefits.
More Medicare beneficiaries are entering hospitals as observation patients every year. The number rose 69 percent in five years, to 1.6 million nationally in 2011, according to the most recent federal statistics. At the same time, Medicare hospital admissions have declined slightly.
Please visit the FAQ section in the left hand column of this page to see common questions and answers about observation care and the coverage gap that can result. (Seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage should ask their plans about their observation care rules since they can vary.)
If you have any questions about the information presented here, please contact Chris Boyle, director of public relations and marketing, 860.585.3887 or firstname.lastname@example.org