Schumer Pushes For Change In Medicare Coverage

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"Inpatient" or "outpatient" - labels that matter once you enter the doors of a hospital.

"Admission criteria to actually be an inpatient at the hospital is pretty strict. So if that person doesn't meet that criteria completely, they don't qualify as an inpatient," said Krista Kittle of Watertown's Samaritan Medical Center.

Not qualifying as inpatient can be costly.

"Medicare reimbursement is much more limited. The patient is responsible for more of the charges," said Kittle 5:37

That's why Senator Chuck Schumer (D. - NY) visited SMC Tuesday.

He's pushing for a change on how to define who is an inpatient, basically to give people more time in the hospital and more time with doctors.

"They have to find the money themselves and most of these folks don't have that kind of money," said Schumer.

It's an issue that hits home for Audrey Garrett, who after being labeled "outpatient" during a hospital visit, was hit with an unexpected bill for prescription medication.

"I know what they cost because I go to the drug store and buy them, the ones that I need, and there is something that needs to be done," said  Garrett.

Actually, something could be done soon.

"We expect to have pretty broad support because this has become a crisis around the country," said Schumer.

Making sure people like Garrett and everyone else on Medicare get the proper medical support without breaking the bank.
 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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