CMS issues final rule on discharge planning: 3 things to know

CMS finalized a rule Sept. 26 that revises discharge planning requirements for hospitals.

Three things to know:

1. Under the rule, hospitals must focus on patients' care goals and treatment preferences during the discharge planning process.

2. Hospitals must assist patients in selecting a post-acute provider by sharing relevant quality performance data for post-acute facilities, including readmission and patient fall rates.

3. The rule also requires hospitals to ensure each patient has access to an electronic version of their medical records.

"Today's rule is huge step to providing patients with the ability to make healthcare decisions that are right for them and gives them transparency into what used to be an opaque and confusing process," CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a news release. "Patients will now no longer be an afterthought; they'll be in the driver's seat, playing an active role in their care transitions to ensure seamless coordination of care."

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