Proposed hospital transfer rule causes nursing homes concern

Nursing home administrators are expressing concerns over a proposed hospital transfer rule they say is “impossible to comply with,” the Kansas Health Institute News Service reports.

The rule, proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as part of a massive set of regulatory revisions, would require nursing homes and other long-term care facilities to have residents examined by a doctor, physician's assistant, nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist before they are transferred to a hospital. Failure to do so could result in a deficiency.

Without a medical professional that meets CMS requirements on staff at all times, compliance with the rule would be difficult, especially in rural areas or after hours, providers say.

“That is going to be impossible to comply with,” Reginald Hislop, a Wichita nursing home operator, told the Kansas Health Institute.  “I don't care who you are. I don't care where you are. Unless you're connected to a hospital ... I don't know how you're going to comply.”

The rule includes an exemption for “emergency situations” where a resident's health or safety would be in danger if he or she were not immediately transferred to a hospital, but the proposal does not give specific examples of those situations.

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