On September 30, 2019, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a final rule revising the discharge planning requirements that Hospitals (including Short-Term Acute-Care Hospitals, Long-Term Care Hospitals (LTCHs), Rehabilitation Hospitals, Psychiatric Hospitals, Children’s Hospitals, and Cancer Hospitals), Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), and Home Health Agencies (HHAs) must meet in order to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The new regulations are effective November 29, 2019.
Facilities will be required to: 1) assist patients in selecting a post-acute care services provider or supplier by using and sharing quality data which must be relevant and applicable to the patient’s goals of care and treatment preferences; 2) discharge the patient with his/her medical information to the appropriate post-acute service providers and also to other providers and practitioners responsible for the patient’s care; 3) send necessary medical information to the receiving facility after a patient has been discharged from the hospital or transferred to to another agency; 4) ensure the hospital supports patients’ rights to access their medical records in the form and format requested by the patient.
This new rule will require each facility to review your discharge planning and medical records policies to promote the continuous exchange of patient information between health care settings to guarantee patient’s health care information follows them after discharge from a hospital or post-acute care provider. CMS notes that hospitals and CAHs are already conducting most of the revised discharge planning requirements, with the exception of the discharge planning requirements of the IMPACT Act. The facilities and home health agencies are also required to send specific medical information when patients are transferred to another facility along with an evaluation of the patient’s need for post-hospital services, including, but not limited to:
- hospice care services and post-hospital extended care services.
- home health services and non-health care services and community based care providers (for hospitals and critical access hospitals only)