• Analysis or Summary
  • October 10, 2019

CMS issues hospital discharge planning final rule

On Sept. 30, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published the Discharge Planning for Hospitals final rule in the Federal Register. The final rule revises the discharge planning requirements that hospitals—including children’s hospitals—must meet in order to participate in Medicare and Medicaid. The rule also finalizes hospital patients’ rights regarding patient access to medical records. The Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) previously submitted comments to the proposed rule urging CMS to consider pediatric patients as it establishes discharge planning requirements and to provide flexibility so hospitals can tailor discharge plans to meet the needs of pediatric patients. In particular, we urged CMS to reconsider the requirement for hospitals to provide a list of available Medicare-participating post-acute care providers to patients. While CMS did not accept our comment, CMS provided some guidance in the comment section. The final rule is effective Nov. 29, 2019.