Complete Story


CMS Issues Memo to Hospitals About Requirement to Provide Information to Post-Acute Providers

Guest Article: Elizabeth E. Hogue, Esq.


On June 6, 2023, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a memo to hospitals to remind them of their obligation to provide all necessary information to post-acute providers (PACs) as part of the discharge process. “When a patient is discharged from a hospital, it is important to provide their post-acute provider and caregivers as applicable with the appropriate patient information related to a patient’s treatment and condition in order to decrease the risk of readmission or an adverse event,” CMS says in the memo.

CMS is especially concerned about missing or inaccurate information related to:

CMS says that failure to provide complete, accurate information upon discharge may put patients’ health at risk. The health and safety of other residents and staff may also be at risk. Incomplete and/or inaccurate information may also cause avoidable readmissions, complications, and other adverse events. Patients may also receive treatments that are unnecessary or inconsistent with their wishes.

CMS reminds state survey agencies, accrediting organizations, and hospitals in the memo that regulations of the Medicare Program require hospitals to “have an effective discharge planning process that focuses on the patient’s goals and treatment preferences and includes the patient and his or her caregivers/support person(s) as active partners in the discharge planning for post-discharge care.”

In addition, says CMS, “the hospital must discharge the patient, and also transfer or refer the patient where applicable, along with all necessary medical information pertaining to the patient’s current course of illness and treatment, post-discharge goals of care, and treatment preferences, at the time of discharge, to the appropriate post-acute care service providers and suppliers, facilities, agencies, and other outpatient service providers and practitioners responsible for the patient’s follow-up or ancillary care.”

CMS concludes the memo by acknowledging that hospitals have discretion to develop their own policies and procedures to meet the above requirements. However, CMS makes the following recommendations to hospitals with regard to discharge planning:

Discharge planners/case managers should be prepared for increased scrutiny regarding these issues during surveys.


©2023 Elizabeth E. Hogue, Esq. All rights reserved.

No portion of this material may be reproduced in any form without the advance written permission of the author.


Printer-Friendly Version