Health Reform WK-EDGE HHS issues rule on discharge planning, access to medical records
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Monday, October 7, 2019

HHS issues rule on discharge planning, access to medical records

By Nicole D. Prysby, J.D.

The rule revises the discharge planning requirements that hospitals must meet in order to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs and finalizes a patient’s right to access his or her own medical information from a hospital.

HHS has announced the release of a final rule amending the discharge planning requirements hospitals must meet in order to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The rule also addresses patient access to medical records (Final rule, 84 FR 51836, September 30, 2019).

This rule finalizes provisions proposed in the 2015 "Discharge Planning proposed rule." It revises the discharge planning requirements that hospitals (including Short-Term Acute-Care Hospitals, Long-Term Care Hospitals, Rehabilitation Hospitals, Psychiatric Hospitals, Children’s Hospitals, and Cancer Hospitals), Critical Access Hospitals, and Home Health Agencies must meet in order to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. For example, hospitals are required to implement a discharge planning process that includes an evaluation of a patient’s need for appropriate post-hospital services. Discharge planning evaluations or plans must be developed by, or under the supervision of, a registered nurse, social worker, or other appropriately qualified personnel, and must be included in a patient’s medical record.

In addition, the rule finalizes a patient’s right to access his or her own medical information from a hospital, as proposed in the 2016 "Hospital Innovation proposed rule." A portion of the remaining changes in the Hospital Innovation proposed rule are still under consideration.

FederalRegisterIssuances: FinalRules AgencyNews MedicaidNews MedicarePartANews ProviderPaymentNews

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