Staying in the hospital without being formally admitted can cost you thousands of dollars
Jean Arnau spent five days in the hospital with a fractured spine —
lying in a hospital bed, wearing a hospital gown and ID bracelet, eating
hospital food and receiving regular nursing care.
But when she was discharged and needed to transfer to a rehab
facility, her family learned that she had never been formally admitted
as an inpatient to the hospital at all. Instead, she’d been classified
as an outpatient under “observation” — a status that would cost her
thousands of dollars.
Most patients would regard as meaningless the seemingly slight
distinction between the two labels — after all, they’re getting exactly
the same kind of care. But it can have costly consequences.
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