Private hospital room: FSA Eligibility

Private hospital room: eligible with a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
An additional cost for a private hospital room is eligible for reimbursement with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA), or a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). An additional cost for a private hospital room is not eligible with a dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA), or a limited-purpose flexible spending account (LPFSA).

What is a private hospital room?

Private hospital rooms are individual rooms for hospital patients. They are more expensive to construct and maintain than group-style hospital rooms, which have been common across various eras of modern medicine. Group style hospital rooms have at times been advocated for due to the added efficiencies for hospital workers such as doctors, nurses, and bedsides attendants. Group style hospital rooms, open bays, and shared rooms are also less expensive to construct. Individual rooms require their own power setups, equipment arrays, venting, etc. Economically speaking, private hospital rooms have long been viewed as an unnecessary luxury.

Recently, studies have proven that private hospital rooms are economically advantageous in the long term due to their benefits in individual patient health, and the reduced risk of hospital-acquired infections. Hospital-acquired infections are the most common complication of medical care in the United States. Hospital-acquired infections lead to longer hospital stays which increases the expense and the risk of mortality (National Center for Biotechnology Information).

Hospitals are individually incentivized to reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections because recent Medicare updates have changed the hospitals' reimbursement schedules. Private hospital rooms allow for hospitals to reduce rates of hospital-acquired infections while maximizing their Medicare reimbursements. The worst forms of hospital-acquired infections are methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Pseudomonas, and Candida. They are the worst forms because they are both common and extremely difficult to cure.

Private hospital rooms can usually be requested during a hospital stay, but they may cost an additional fee. Any expenses associated with paying for a private hospital room are eligible for reimbursement with a consumer-directed healthcare account.

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