What is a Medicare Hospital?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 20 December 2018
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A Medicare hospital is a hospital which accepts patients covered by Medicare, a form of health coverage available to some Americans. In order to receive Medicare hospital benefits, Americans must fulfill requirements such as being over age 65, qualifying under a spouse, or receiving disability payments for two or more years. The section of Medicare which involves hospital coverage is known as Medicare Part A, and people who wish to enroll in the program can contact the Social Security Administration.

In order to accept Medicare patients, a hospital must meet certain requirements and enroll in the Medicare program. Once a hospital is enrolled, it is listed as a Medicare hospital, and it can alert the neighboring community to the fact that it accepts patients who use Medicare for their health coverage. The hospital is also required to keep continuing records and meet other requirements if it wishes to stay in the Medicare program.

In order to receive Medicare hospital benefits, patients must have a demonstrated need for hospitalization. They are usually hospitalized by their primary care providers or under the supervision of a specialist, and certain procedures may need to be followed to confirm that a patient qualifies. Once in the hospital, Medicare will pay for the patient's treatment, although it may deem certain treatments inadmissible, or determine that a patient has been hospitalized longer than he or she needed to be, and deny part of the claim.


Medicare hospitals must follow Medicare billing procedures in order for their claims to be processed. Patients may need to become familiar with the procedures and the criteria for payment of Medicare claims, in the event that their claims are challenged. It helps to keep a detailed written record of a hospitalization which can be used to argue a patient's case. Patients are also entitled to certain rights and services in a Medicare hospital, and when they are hospitalized, they may be given a publication outlining this information.

A wide variety of hospitals in the United States accept Medicare Part A, including public and private hospitals, along with hospitals affiliated with religious groups or universities. When patients need to be hospitalized, they may want to do some research to find the most suitable hospital for treatment. The Social Security Administration keeps detailed information on hospital performance, breaking the data down by different types of conditions, and makes this information available to patients so that they can decide which Medicare hospital will suit their needs.



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