With all the confrontational politics in Washington, we should be proud to have Glenn Thompson, who finds ways to reach “across the aisle” to co-sponsor legislation that benefits older Pennsylvanians, as our representative.
Often, frail people fall or find themselves in need of urgent care. People heal slowly, and a short-term hospital stay sometimes is not enough time to get them back on their feet, so they need to recuperate at a skilled nursing facility. Under the Medicare program, however, a prerequisite for coverage for this follow-up care is that the person must have had a three-day hospital stay.
Unfortunately, many seniors are caught in a trap — although they are in a hospital as a result of the medical crisis, the hospital classifies them as “observation” status rather than “admitted” status. Under current rules, time in “observation” status — even though it is in a hospital — does not count toward the three-day requirement.
Congressman Thompson has joined Democratic Rep. Joe Courtney, of Connecticut, to sponsor HR 1421, which clarifies this issue and allows time spent in “observation” status to be included within the three days. The inspector general of Health and Human Services and the congressionally established Commission on Long-Term Care support this goal.
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When politicians in each of the parties are making headlines confronting the other party, it is refreshing to see our representative, Thompson, rise above party politics and sponsor a bill that helps his constituents and elders everywhere.
Amos Goodall, State College