Surveyors will be checking to see how well hospital discharge procedures facilitate SNF transfers

Providers must resume giving advance notice about resident transfers, discharges, and room and roommate changes after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ended emergency blanket waivers for the rules that were established due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The agency announced it would end selected waivers in a memo to state survey agencies on Friday. The waivers will end on May 10. 

CMS said via Twitter that it “found that facilities have been able to adjust operations to meet the time-frame requirements for conducting required assessments, care plans & notifications, while also providing care for residents during the PHE.”

Facilities will now have to resume compliance with the transfer or discharge and room or roommate change regulations in place prior to the COVID-19 waivers. 

The rules mandate providers to provide notice of a transfer or discharge to the resident or their representative 30 days in advance, or as soon as possible, before the transfer or discharge took place. Likewise, providers are also required to notify the resident prior to making a room or roommate changes. 

The agency said the waivers allowed facilities to notify residents of a room change or transfer after the transfer has occurred, which helped facilities to swiftly transfer a resident to another unit or facility for COVID cohorting purposes.

“CMS is only ending the waivers for providing written notice before a room/roommate change and for timing of notification of transfer or discharge. The related waivers, which continue to allow facilities to transfer or discharge, and change rooms for the sole purposes of cohorting remain in effect,” the agency stated.