The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CNS) has proposed changes to the Conditions of Participation (CoPs) for hospitals that will impact home health. Under the new rules, hospitals must have “an effective” discharge planning process that focuses on the patient’s goals and which assures a smooth transition from the hospital to home health. If finalized, hospitals will be required to identify needs of the patients following discharge within twenty-four hours after admission or registration and the discharge planning process must be completed prior to discharge home or transfer to another facility and without unduly delaying patients’ discharge or transfer. One major goal, which is consistent with where CMS is headed, is the discharge process is supposed to help reduce rehopitalizations.
National Government Services is hoping to hold a workshop in Vermont for hospital discharge planners (home care will be invited) sometime in early winter. When I know more, I’ll let everyone know.