The trusted source for
healthcare information and
CMS proposes extending patient choice regs
By Elizabeth E. Hogue,
As many providers already know, the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (BBA) requires hospitals to share with each patient as part of the discharge planning process a list of available home health agencies (HHAs) that:
In addition, the BBA prohibits hospitals from limiting or steering patients to any specific HHA or qualified provider that may provide post-hospital home health services.
In proposed rules published May 18, 2004, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposes to incorporate these provisions of the BBA into Conditions of Participation (COPs) applicable to hospitals and to extend these requirements to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs).
If these COPs are finalized, it likely is indicative of the trend of extending the BBA’s patient choice requirements to all providers, including home medical equipment companies and hospices.
Although commentary to the proposed regulations does not carry the force of law, it provides a window on the point of view of regulators and enforcers that providers are well advised to consider the following recommendations:
Stay tuned for more new developments in the continuing story of patients’ right to freedom of choice of providers.
[More information about this topic is available in How to Form Alliances Without Violating the Law. Send a check for $55 (includes shipping and handling) to the address below.
A complete list of Elizabeth Hogue’s publications is available by contacting Elizabeth E. Hogue, Esq., 15118 Liberty Grove, Burtonsville, MD 20866. Phone: (301) 421-0143. Fax (301) 421-1699. E-mail: ehogue5@Comcast.net]