Resources for Hospital Observation

Are you being admitted or observed?

How do you know if you are truly admitted to a hospital?

This sounds like a dumb question, but not knowing the answer can cost you a great deal of money if you are a Medicare recipient. A person can be admitted on an inpatient basis which is what is assumed by most of us – or a person can be admitted on an observation basis. The statuses look the same on the surface in that patients in both categories may stay for many days receiving medical and nursing care and tests and treatment.

A person’s hospital admission status is determined by the admitting physician. In many cases it will be observation, rather than inpatient, to get a sense of how the patient is doing and to protect the hospital against being financially penalized by Medicare for unnecessary admissions and readmissions. For example, if persons who were originally in the hospital under observation are readmitted to the hospital, they are not counted as readmissions. In recent years the number of patients many hospitals admit and retain under observation has more than doubled.

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We Are Family – When Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Financial Exploitation Hits Home

The Kent County Elder Abuse Coalition recommends reading the following article on elder abuse and the American family.  The author tells a true story of abuse and neglect, and concludes by recommending that there must be better collaboration between local agencies to solve cases like this one.

From the article:

“In October 2005, police were dispatched to my grandparent’s home following a dispute between my parents and my uncle.  My uncle, my grandparents’ unemployed adult son who was living in the home, became infuriated when my parents arrived for an unscheduled visit and he refused to let them in.  Hearing the commotion, my grandmother appeared and insisted that my parents stay, which further exacerbated my uncle’s anger.  In an effort to keep my grandmother inside, there was a scuffle: several glass panes of a door were broken, and my grandmother and my mother sustained cuts.  My father called the police…”

To see the rest of the story, click here to download the article!

What you can do:

  • If you suspect elder abuse – report it.  In Michigan, please call 1-855-444-3911.  If you or someone you know is a victim of fraud or a financial scam, call your local law enforcement agency.
  • Schedule a presentation for your community or group about elder abuse. The Kent County Elder Abuse Coalition has a variety of professionals who are willing to make such a presentation.  Contact them at





Advocates for Senior Issues

is a non-partisan association made up of local citizens and organizations interested in the concerns and well-being of older adults, as well as issues that concern our community, our safety, and our happiness. We hope to inform our members and educate our legislators to effect local, state, and federal legislation concerning seniors.

The group meets regularly to:


Meetings include legislators who speak on current events and answer questions from the group. Experts from many professions are also invited to keep members informed on life changes, new ideas, and the best ways to get things done.


Advocates for Senior Issues members advocate for local community issues as well as state and federal issues. There are presently three active Strategy Groups that are working on Elder Abuse, Health Care, and Long Term Care issues.


Members from their 20’s to their 90’s always find something interesting at meetings. It’s a good place to connect with others of like interests!

Elder Abuse Strategy Group

Chairperson: Jan Schultz

AFSI Elder Abuse Strategy Group goals are as follows:

  1. Partner with the newly formed Kent County Elder Abuse Coalition (KCEAC):
    a. Attend monthly intervention meetings (Jan Schultz)
    b. Attend large group presentations to both the community and to concerned citizens.
    c. Help recruit speaker’s bureau.
    d. Help promote community presentations
  2. Serve as Advocacy resource/representative to the Kent County Elder Abuse Prevention Network:
    a. Provide legislative updates.
    b. Research new elder abuse legislation in other states and present findings to KCEAPN.
    c. Encourage support / action for proposed elder abuse legislation
    i.   Organize letter / email / phone support for upcoming legislation
    ii.  Organize travel opportunities to Michigan  State Capital
    iii. Meet with state representatives (introduction to the KCEAPN) and discussion of pending issues.
  3. Encourage involvement of AFSI Elder Abuse Sub-Committee members with outreach efforts of the KCEAC:
    a. Become a member of the KCEAC speaker’s bureau.
    b. Help in outreach planning efforts.
    c. Help with advertising and PR.
    d. Research Elder Abuse legislation in other states.
    e. Research “Best Practices” of other Elder Abuse Coalitions nationwide.

To contact the Elder Abuse Strategy Group or to become involved, email Jan Schultz at