What it Means to Receive Outpatient Care

If you stay overnight in the hospital, your costs and coverage will depend on whether you have inpatient status or outpatient status in the hospital. Staying overnight in the hospital does not make you a hospital inpatient. You only become an inpatient after your doctor formally admits you to the hospital. In general, doctors will only admit you if they expect you will need to stay at least 2 days overnight in the hospital. Part A covers most of your care when you have inpatient status. However, when you are in the emergency room or in the hospital under observation, you are usually an outpatient. You may be under observation if your doctor is keeping an eye on you to decide whether or not t

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