AARP Report Builds on HCFO-Funded Study on Rise in Observation Services

Publication Date: 
November 25, 2013

HCFO grantee Lan Zhao, Ph.D., Social & Scientific Systems, Inc., expanded the scope of her HCFO-funded study on observation services (OS) in an AARP Public Policy Institute report. Zhao and colleagues found that both the frequency and duration of hospital OS increased between 2001 and 2009. This rapid growth suggests that OS may be substituting for inpatient admissions, raising concerns about the quality of care received by patients. Additionally, OS may impose high out-of-pocket costs on Medicare beneficiaries. More information about Zhao’s grant is available here.