Chapter 111 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 51J the following section:
Section 51K. (a) Each hospital shall provide each patient that the hospital places in inpatient or observation status oral and written notice of such placement not later than twenty-four hours after such placement, unless such patient has been discharged or has left the hospital prior to the expiration of the twenty-four hour period. Such oral and written notices shall include
(1) a statement whether the patient has been admitted to the hospital as an inpatient or is in observation status;
(2) a statement that observation status may affect the patient’s Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance coverage for
(A) hospital services, including medication and pharmaceutical supplies; or
(B) skilled nursing facility care following the patient’s discharge; and
(3) a recommendation that the patient contact his or insurance plan to better understand the implications of being placed in observation status.
(b) The written notice described in subsection (a) of the section shall be signed and dated by the patient receiving the notice or such patient’s legal or other authorized representative.
(c) The Department shall promulgate such regulations as are necessary to implement this section.
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