Inpatient care is the care of patients whose condition requires admission to a hospital, extended care facility, nursing home, or another facility. Inpatient hospitalization is needed for major surgeries or therapeutic services where your condition or response to medication must be monitored closely.

Observation services are short-term treatments and assessments which are provided to patients to determine whether you require further treatment as an inpatient, or if you can be discharged. Observation services are usually needed for 24 hours or less.