MedPAC recommends “Two Midnight Rule” be withdrawn

In its June 2015 Report to Congress, MedPAC reviewed hospital short-stay policy issues and provided several recommendations to reduce these issues. Hospital short stays have caused significant issues for beneficiaries who need to qualify for post-acute care at a skilled nursing facility and were widely reported on in 2015.

In response to this problem, this past March the NOTICE Act passed the House, which requires hospitals to provide notification to patients that they were under observation status and had not been admitted. MedPAC’s analysis of these issues, according to the fact sheet, helped provide recommendations that will protect beneficiaries more, including:

  • Withdrawal of the “Two Midnight Rule”
  • Revision of the skilled nursing facility three in-patient day hospital eligibility requirement to allow up to two days of observation status to count as part of the qualifying stay
  • Notification of beneficiaries that are under observation status that their ability to qualify for skilled nursing facility care may be affected

Read MedPAC’s June 2015 report to Congress.

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