CMS Proposes New Discharge Planning Rule for Acute Care, Inpatient Rehabilitation

November 6, 2015 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​In an effort to increase patient participation in the discharge planning process and to better incorporate patient goals and preferences, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule that would revise the discharge planning requirements that hospitals (including long-term care hospitals and inpatient rehabilitation facilities), critical access hospitals, and home health agencies must meet in order to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The proposed rule implements the discharge planning requirements of the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 by requiring hospitals, critical access hospitals, and certain post-acute care providers to use data on both quality and resource use measures to assist patients during the discharge planning process. The proposal applies to all inpatients and certain types of outpatients (e.g., patients receiving observational services, patients undergoing surgery or other procedures in which anesthesia or moderate sedation is used, emergency department patients identified as needing a discharge plan by a practitioner). Under the proposed rule, hospitals and critical access hospitals would be required to develop a discharge plan within 24 hours of admission or registration and complete a discharge plan before the patient is discharged home or transferred to another facility; provide discharge instructions to patients who are discharged home; have a medication reconciliation process with the goal of improving patient safety by enhancing medication management; and establish a post-discharge follow-up process.

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