The U.S. House of Representatives approved the Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility (NOTICE) Act (also known as H.R. 876) on March 16, a move that the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) calls “encouraging.”
The legislation, if made into law, would require hospitals to notify Medicare beneficiaries of their outpatient status within 36 hours after the time of their classification or, if sooner, on discharge.
“The NOTICE Act is an important first step in removing roadblocks that limit access to post-acute care,” AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson said in a statement. “Ensuring that Medicare beneficiaries are fully informed about their hospital status helps them make informed decisions about their treatments.”
Noting the bill’s bipartisan support, Parkinson said AHCA/NCAL looks forward to working with the Senate in the coming weeks.
March 11, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued a finding (subsequently dated March 13) at the request of the House Committee on Ways and Means that the H.R. 876 “could affect direct spending; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, CBO estimates that the bill would not have significant budgetary effects over the 2015–2025 period.” Also, because the bill contains no intergovernmental mandates, CBO says it would not affect state, local or tribal government budgets.