CMS Announces Initiative to Address Inappropriate Facility-Initiated Discharges

January 12, 2018 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) Center for Clinical Standards and Quality/Survey and Certification group has announced a new initiative to "examine and mitigate facility-initiated discharges that violate federal regulations," in a December 22, 2017, memo. The regulations require facilities to transfer or discharge residents only if the facility is unable to meet a resident's needs or if a resident's health has improved sufficiently that he or she no longer requires facility services; if the safety of residents and staff at the facility is compromised because of a resident's clinical or behavioral status or if staff and residents are otherwise endangered; or if a resident violates payment policies. However, despite the regulation, unnecessary and inappropriate transfers and discharges remain among the most frequent complaints submitted to state long-term care ombudsman programs.

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