CMS discharge proposal draws criticism

Despite showing general support, providers believe a recent discharge planning proposal from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services needs additional clarification to it to ensure smooth patient transitions to post-acute care.

In comments submitted to CMS in January, the American Health Care Association applauded the proposal's requirement that hospitals discuss posts-acute care goals with patients, and pass that information to providers. 

AHCA also recommended that hospitals be required to share updated SNF information with patients to ensure that a facility is part of their managed care network.

The agency could take that push for information even further by requiring hospitals to notify patients of specialized post-acute programs relevant to their needs, rather than just giving a skilled nursing facility's Five-Star Quality Rating, said Peter Notarstefano of LeadingAge. 

His association and the American Hospital Association noted in comments that the forecast of an initial $34 million for development and $283 million in annual costs is likely too low for what AHA expects to be a “complex and expensive” implementation.