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Rapid Growth in Medicare Hospital Observation Services: What's Going On?

Hospital observation status, a service used to monitor patients during periods of medical uncertainty, has attracted the attention of media, courts and policy-makers due to complaints about rapid growth in its use and high out-of-pocket costs incurred by some Medicare beneficiaries.

This Research Report by Keith D Lind, a Senior Policy Advisor with AARP’s Public Policy Institute, and coauthors from Social & Scientific Systems describes rapid growth in the use of hospital observation services and the impact on Medicare beneficiaries.

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