The U.S. Senate Monday passed by unanimous consent legislation that would require hospitals to provide Medicare beneficiaries with written notification and a related oral explanation at discharge or within 36 hours, whichever is sooner, if they receive more than 24 hours of outpatient observation services. The Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility Act (H.R. 876) was unanimously approved by the House in March. The legislation now goes to the president for his signature and would take effect one year after enactment. The written notification must explain in plain language the Medicare patient’s status as an outpatient under observation, the reasons for that status and the implications for cost sharing and Medicare skilled nursing facility coverage. The notice must be available in appropriate languages and signed by the patient or their representative, or by hospital staff if the former refuse to sign it.