Home Health, News

CMS gives itself one-year extension to publish a new discharge planning rule

From Home Health Line.

CMS has just given itself an additional year — until Nov. 3, 2019 — to finalize its proposed rule involving discharge planning.

CMS first proposed discharge planning changes in October 2015. But now it says it can’t meet its three-year deadline to finalize that proposal.

Due to public comments received and stakeholder feedback, CMS determined “there are significant policy issues that need to be resolved” and there is a need to coordinate with another government agency.

As a result, CMS says in an item within the Nov. 2 Federal Register, it needs a one-year extension to publish the “Medicare and Medicaid Program; Revisions to Requirements for Discharge Planning for Hospitals, Critical Access Hospitals, and Home Health Agencies” final rule.

If the discharge planning rule ultimately is finalized as proposed, it likely would cost agencies thousands in upfront expenses, mostly from time spent documenting physician-directed updates to discharge plans and collecting 21 elements including demographics, procedures and diagnoses.

The proposal would add a new discharge planning Condition of Participation (CoP) — as called for by the IMPACT Act — to help standardize patient assessments across provider settings.