CMS has announced a proposed revision of the discharge planning requirements for acute care hospitals, long-term care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, critical access hospitals, and home health agencies.
The proposed changes to the Medicare Conditions of Participation require hospitals and critical access hospitals to develop a discharge plan within 24 hours of admission or registration and to complete the discharge plan before the patient is discharged to home or transferred to another facility.
In addition to creating a discharge plan for all inpatients, hospitals and critical access hospitals must develop discharge plans for patients receiving observation services, patient who are undergoing surgery or other same-day procedures that require anesthesia or sedation, and emergency department patients who have been identified by a practitioner as needing a discharge plan.
The proposed rule also requires hospitals and critical access hospitals to provide discharge instructions for patients who are discharged home and to develop a medication reconciliation process. All providers who are transferring patients to another facility must provide specific medical information to the receiving process.
Hospitals and critical access hospitals will be required to establish a post-discharge follow-up process under the rule.
CMS issued the proposed changes at the end of October with a 60-day comment period. The final rule will be released later in 2016. The document is available online at http://1.usa.gov/1kZzuW4.
More details on the rule and what it means for case managers will be in the February issue of Hospital Case Management.