Monday, August 21, 2017

Joni Schaff

Rules address hospital discharge rights

Senior Center News
The Fun For You Day on Wednesday, July 26, sponsored by Little Horn State Bank, was enjoyable for a nice group of patrons. Shirley Margheim, recently retired from Little Horn State Bank, has agreed to host the social event on the last Wednesday of each month. 
 
Shirley’s retirement celebration will be held Aug. 11 at the Fun Day of the Farmer’s Market at Little Horn State Bank from 8 a.m. to noon. Stop in and wish her well, and give her an extra thank you.
 
The Senior Medicare Patrol newsletter this month is about Medicare hospital discharge rights.
 
If at the end of your hospital stay you still don’t feel  you are ready to go home, there are rules the hospital must follow as it gets ready to discharge you.
 
No more than two days prior to your planned discharge date, you should receive a notice called “An Important Message From Medicare About Your Rights” (IM). This notice, which you or a representative must sign and date, explains:
 
First: Your right to get all medically-necessary hospital services.
 
Second: Your right to be involved in decisions about your care and to know who will pay for the services you receive.
 
Third: Your right to get the services you need after leaving the hospital.
 
Fourth: Your right to appeal and discharge decisions, and the steps to do so, including contact information.
 
Fifth: The circumstances under which you will or won’t have to pay for charges for remaining in the hospital.
 
If you disagree with the decision to discharge you, you may request a “fast appeal.” The IM will have the contact information for the local benefit and family-centered care quality improvement organization, which will conduct the review of your case. 
 
You must ask for the fast appeal no later than the day you’re scheduled for discharge from the hospital. As long as you meet this deadline, you can stay in the hospital while you wait for a decision, and you won’t be charged for your stay (except for applicable co-insurance or deductibles).
 
Once your appeal is received, the improvement organization will notify your hospital and those organizing your plan. Your planners or hospital will then explain their decision by providing you a “Detailed Notice of Discharge.” This notice will describe why they believe continued services are no longer medically necessary and will no longer be covered, citing the applicable Medicare policies.
 
As Medicare beneficiaries and caregivers, we need to know our rights with this valuable program. While medical professionals generally do their best to care for us, we may need to advocate for ourselves and for our family members if something doesn’t seem quite right.
 
The local contact for Medicare questions is the Area II Agency on Aging in Roundup, Mont. at 1-800-551-3191.
 
The Hardin Senior Center will host bingo on Tuesday, Aug. 8 and Thursday, Aug. 10, a movie Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 9. A donation to Child and Family Services in Hardin will be taken to them Aug. 10. This month, we are asking for infant’s sippy cups, as well as drink cups for older children.
 
The senior center is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to noon at 317 N. Custer. The phone number is (406) 665-2581.
 
Hardin Senior Center menu:
Thursday, Aug. 3 – chicken pot pie, vegetables, salad, dessert
Friday, Aug. 4 – fish sandwich, Tater Tots, vegetables, coleslaw, dessert
Monday, Aug. 7 – goulash, vegetables, salad, dessert
Tuesday, Aug. 8 – beef vegetable soup, sandwich, dessert
Wednesday, Aug. 9 – tetrazzini casserole, vegetables, salad, dessert
Thursday, Aug. 10 – pork chops, potatoes and gravy, vegetables, dessert
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