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Hospitals must provide MOON notice to patients by March 8, 2017

If you or someone you love is on Medicare, you need to know about the Medicare Outpatient Observation Notice (MOON).

The MOON is a standardized notice to inform beneficiaries (including Medicare health plan enrollees) that they are an outpatient receiving observation services and not an inpatient of the hospital or critical access hospital (CAH). These facilities must begin giving the MOON notice to patients no later than March 8, 2017.

This is important because outpatient status affects a patient’s ability to receive Medicare coverage for post-acute care in a skilled nursing center.

The MOON is mandated by the Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility Act (NOTICE Act) enacted on August 6, 2015. The NOTICE Act requires all hospitals and CAHs to provide written and oral notification under specified guidelines.

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