Has CMS provided any updated information concerning the Discharge Planning Conditions of Participation proposed rule?
The short answer is yes. But before discussing the updates I believe it’s important to provide the background.
Discharge Planning Conditions of Participation (CoP) Background
- The current hospital discharge planning requirements in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §482.43, “Discharge planning,” were originally published on December 13, 1994 (59 FR 64141), and were last updated on August 11, 2004 (69 FR 49268). Under the current discharge planning requirements, hospitals must have in effect a discharge planning process that applies to all inpatients. The hospital must also have policies and procedures specified in writing.
- May 17, 2013: CMS released updates to Appendix A of the State Operations Manual providing revised interpretive guidelines for the Discharge Planning CoPs. Notably, this revision included “blue boxes” that CMS indicated displayed “successful practices currently found throughout the industry in the area of care transitions.”
- Post–Acute Care Transformations Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act): This Act required the standardization of Post-Acute Care (PAC) assessment data that can be evaluated and compared across PAC provider settings, and used by hospitals, CAHs, and PAC providers, to facilitate coordinated care and improved Medicare beneficiary outcomes.
- November 3, 2015: CMS published a Proposed Rule titled Revisions to Requirements for Discharge Planning for Hospitals, Critical Access Hospitals, and Home Health Agencies. CMS noted the proposed rule would also implement discharge planning requirements in the IMPACT Act and they accepted comments through 5 p.m. on January 4, 2016.
Now, back to the original question, on November 2, 2018 CMS published an Extension of Timeline for Publication of Final Rule in the Federal Register. CMS cited “the complexity of the rule and scope of public comments” as warranting the extension.
CMS goes on to note that 299 public comments were submitted in response to the proposed rule. Based on comments CMS “determined that there are significant policy issues that need to be resolved in order to address all of the issues raised by public comments to the proposed rule and to ensure appropriate coordination with other government agencies.”
CMS ended by indicating their commitment “to publishing a final rule that provides clear health and safety standards for hospitals, HHAs, and CAHs. At this time, we believe we can best achieve this balance by issuing this notification of continuation.”
The timeline has now been extended to November 3, 2019 for publication of a final rule.
Article by Beth Cobb
Beth Cobb, RN, BSN, ACM, CCDS, is the Manager of Clinical Services at Medical Management Plus, Inc. Beth has over twenty-five years of experience in healthcare including eleven years in Case Management at a large multi-facility health system.
This material was compiled to share information. MMP, Inc. is not offering legal advice. Every reasonable effort has been taken to ensure the information is accurate and useful.