Health costs are high with observation stays

Judith A. Quinn at her home Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009, in La Crosse, Wis. Quinn, 69, who has epilepsy, was in the hospital for two weeks, but the hospital considered she was there for an "observation stay," a little-known category of medical care. As a result, Quinn's Medicare coverage wouldn't pay for the oral medications she took there or for three weeks she spent recovering in a nursing home after being discharged.

( David Trotman-Wilkins, Chicago Tribune / February 5, 2009 )

Judith A. Quinn at her home Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009, in La Crosse, Wis. Quinn, 69, who has epilepsy, was in the hospital for two weeks, but the hospital considered she was there for an "observation stay," a little-known category of medical care. As a result, Quinn's Medicare coverage wouldn't pay for the oral medications she took there or for three weeks she spent recovering in a nursing home after being discharged.

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