The Grouch is a practicing emergency room doctor who is starting to deal with the onset of Obamacare as it starts to affect Medicare. Under the new rules, if someone who has been discharged from a hospital is readmitted after less than 30 days, Medicare will not pay for the treatment after readmission. At first, this only applied only if the readmission was for the same diagnosis, but was then extended to any reason for readmission. As the Grouch puts it:
Today while working my shift in the emergency room, an old lady was brought in very sick and in fact near death. I did my usual workup and evaluation and attempted to administer life saving treatment. It was my plan to admit this woman to the hospital. I found out a little later that this same woman had been a patient here just slightly more than 2 weeks ago with a DIFFERENT DIAGNOSIS. I was told that if this woman was admitted, the hospital would not be paid.
As the Grouch further explains, going to a different hospital won't change anything.
A little later a man was brought in by ambulance, very sick, in pain, and near death. I did my usual evaluation and treatment, doing my best to ease pain and stabilize this man's illness. He needed to be admitted. To my chagrin I found out that he had been treated for the SAME problem at a DIFFERENT HOSPITAL about 10 days prior. If I admitted this man, our hospital would be paid nothing. I admitted the man.
Read more about the predicament the Grouch and his fellow docs are in at the above links, or at Right Truth.