The trusted source for
healthcare information and
Under section 4321(a) of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, hospitals need not alert discharged patients about the full range of home medical equipment (HME) options, allowing hospitals and HME companies to establish preferred provider agreements and similar arrangements, according to an analysis by the Health Law Center.
Although the section requires discharge planners to give patients a complete list of home health service providers, the phrase has been interpreted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Office of Standards and Quality to mean that hospitals must provide Medicare beneficiaries with a list of Medicare-certified home health agencies (HHAs) in patients’ geographic area, but only the HHAs that request to be listed must be included. According to the center, this clears the way for hospitals to work with preferred HME suppliers to provide care for discharged patients.