Medicare Outpatient Observation Notice Instructions in New MLN Matters Article

February 24, 2017
Health Policy

A Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) MLN Matters Article on Medicare Outpatient Observation Notice (MOON) Instructions is now available. The article gives instructions on how to use the MOON to inform Medicare beneficiaries when they are an outpatient receiving observation services in a hospital or critical access hospital (CAH). All beneficiaries receiving services in hospitals and CAHs must receive a MOON no later than 36 hours after observation services as an outpatient begin.

The statute expressly provides that the MOON be delivered to beneficiaries receiving observation services as an outpatient for more than 24 hours. In other words, the MOON should not be delivered to all beneficiaries receiving outpatient services. The MOON is intended to inform beneficiaries who receive observation services for more than 24 hours that they are outpatients receiving observation services and not inpatients, and the reasons for such status, and must be delivered no later than 36 hours after observation services begin.

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