42 CFR 483.15 - Admission, transfer, and discharge rights.

§ 483.15 Admission, transfer, and discharge rights.

(a)Admissions policy.

(1) The facility must establish and implement an admissions policy.

(2) The facility must -

(i) Not request or require residents or potential residents to waive their rights as set forth in this subpart and in applicable state, federal or local licensing or certification laws, including but not limited to their rights to Medicare or Medicaid; and

(ii) Not request or require oral or written assurance that residents or potential residents are not eligible for, or will not apply for, Medicare or Medicaid benefits.

(iii) Not request or require residents or potential residents to waive potential facility liability for losses of personal property

(3) The facility must not request or require a third party guarantee of payment to the facility as a condition of admission or expedited admission, or continued stay in the facility. However, the facility may request and require a resident representative who has legal access to a resident's income or resources available to pay for facility care to sign a contract, without incurring personal financial liability, to provide facility payment from the resident's income or resources.

(4) In the case of a person eligible for Medicaid, a nursing facility must not charge, solicit, accept, or receive, in addition to any amount otherwise required to be paid under the State plan, any gift, money, donation, or other consideration as a precondition of admission, expedited admission or continued stay in the facility. However, -

(i) A nursing facility may charge a resident who is eligible for Medicaid for items and services the resident has requested and received, and that are not specified in the State plan as included in the term “nursing facility services” so long as the facility gives proper notice of the availability and cost of these services to residents and does not condition the resident's admission or continued stay on the request for and receipt of such additional services; and

(ii) A nursing facility may solicit, accept, or receive a charitable, religious, or philanthropic contribution from an organization or from a person unrelated to a Medicaid eligible resident or potential resident, but only to the extent that the contribution is not a condition of admission, expedited admission, or continued stay in the facility for a Medicaid eligible resident.

(5) States or political subdivisions may apply stricter admissions standards under State or local laws than are specified in this section, to prohibit discrimination against individuals entitled to Medicaid.

(6) A nursing facility must disclose and provide to a resident or potential resident prior to time of admission, notice of special characteristics or service limitations of the facility.

(7) A nursing facility that is a composite distinct part as defined in § 483.5 must disclose in its admission agreement its physical configuration, including the various locations that comprise the composite distinct part, and must specify the policies that apply to room changes between its different locations under paragraph (b)(10) of this section.

(b)Equal access to quality care.

(1) A facility must establish, maintain and implement identical policies and practices regarding transfer and discharge, as defined in § 483.5 and the provision of services for all individuals regardless of source of payment, consistent with § 483.10(a)(2);

(2) The facility may charge any amount for services furnished to non-Medicaid residents unless otherwise limited by state law and consistent with the notice requirement in § 483.10(g)(3) and (g)(4)(i) describing the charges; and

(3) The State is not required to offer additional services on behalf of a resident other than services provided in the State plan.

(c)Transfer and discharge -

(1)Facility requirements - (i) The facility must permit each resident to remain in the facility, and not transfer or discharge the resident from the facility unless -

(A) The transfer or discharge is necessary for the resident's welfare and the resident's needs cannot be met in the facility;

(B) The transfer or discharge is appropriate because the resident's health has improved sufficiently so the resident no longer needs the services provided by the facility;

(C) The safety of individuals in the facility is endangered due to the clinical or behavioral status of the resident;

(D) The health of individuals in the facility would otherwise be endangered;

(E) The resident has failed, after reasonable and appropriate notice, to pay for (or to have paid under Medicare or Medicaid) a stay at the facility. Non-payment applies if the resident does not submit the necessary paperwork for third party payment or after the third party, including Medicare or Medicaid, denies the claim and the resident refuses to pay for his or her stay. For a resident who becomes eligible for Medicaid after admission to a facility, the facility may charge a resident only allowable charges under Medicaid; or

(F) The facility ceases to operate.

(ii) The facility may not transfer or discharge the resident while the appeal is pending, pursuant to § 431.230 of this chapter, when a resident exercises his or her right to appeal a transfer or discharge notice from the facility pursuant to § 431.220(a)(3) of this chapter, unless the failure to discharge or transfer would endanger the health or safety of the resident or other individuals in the facility. The facility must document the danger that failure to transfer or discharge would pose.

(2)Documentation. When the facility transfers or discharges a resident under any of the circumstances specified in paragraphs (c)(1)(i)(A) through (F) of this section, the facility must ensure that the transfer or discharge is documented in the resident's medical record and appropriate information is communicated to the receiving health care institution or provider.

(i) Documentation in the resident's medical record must include:

(A) The basis for the transfer per paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section.

(B) In the case of paragraph (c)(1)(i)(A) of this section, the specific resident need(s) that cannot be met, facility attempts to meet the resident needs, and the service available at the receiving facility to meet the need(s).

(ii) The documentation required by paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section must be made by -

(A) The resident's physician when transfer or discharge is necessary under paragraph (c)(1)(A) or (B) of this section; and

(B) A physician when transfer or discharge is necessary under paragraph (b)(1)(i)(C) or (D) of this section.

(iii) Information provided to the receiving provider must include a minimum of the following:

(A) Contact information of the practitioner responsible for the care of the resident

(B) Resident representative information including contact information.

(C) Advance Directive information.

(D) All special instructions or precautions for ongoing care, as appropriate.

(E) Comprehensive care plan goals,

(F) All other necessary information, including a copy of the residents discharge summary, consistent with § 483.21(c)(2), as applicable, and any other documentation, as applicable, to ensure a safe and effective transition of care.

(3)Notice before transfer. Before a facility transfers or discharges a resident, the facility must -

(i) Notify the resident and the resident's representative(s) of the transfer or discharge and the reasons for the move in writing and in a language and manner they understand. The facility must send a copy of the notice to a representative of the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman.

(ii) Record the reasons for the transfer or discharge in the resident's medical record in accordance with paragraph (c)(2) of this section; and

(iii) Include in the notice the items described in paragraph (b)(5) of this section.

(4)Timing of the notice.

(i) Except as specified in paragraphs (b)(4)(ii) and (b)(8) of this section, the notice of transfer or discharge required under this section must be made by the facility at least 30 days before the resident is transferred or discharged.

(ii) Notice must be made as soon as practicable before transfer or discharge when -

(A) The safety of individuals in the facility would be endangered under paragraph (b)(1)(ii)(C) of this section;

(B) The health of individuals in the facility would be endangered, under paragraph (b)(1)(ii)(D) of this section;

(C) The resident's health improves sufficiently to allow a more immediate transfer or discharge, under paragraph (b)(1)(ii)(B) of this section;

(D) An immediate transfer or discharge is required by the resident's urgent medical needs, under paragraph (b)(1)(ii)(A) of this section; or

(E) A resident has not resided in the facility for 30 days.

(5)Contents of the notice. The written notice specified in paragraph (b)(3) of this section must include the following:

(i) The reason for transfer or discharge;

(ii) The effective date of transfer or discharge;

(iii) The location to which the resident is transferred or discharged;

(iv) A statement of the resident's appeal rights, including the name, address (mailing and email), and telephone number of the entity which receives such requests; and information on how to obtain an appeal form and assistance in completing the form and submitting the appeal hearing request;

(v) The name, address (mailing and email) and telephone number of the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman;

(vi) For nursing facility residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities or related disabilities, the mailing and email address and telephone number of the agency responsible for the protection and advocacy of individuals with developmental disabilities established under Part C of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 ( Pub. L. 106-402, codified at 42 U.S.C. 15001et seq.); and

(vii) For nursing facility residents with a mental disorder or related disabilities, the mailing and email address and telephone number of the agency responsible for the protection and advocacy of individuals with a mental disorder established under the Protection and Advocacy for Mentally Ill Individuals Act.

(6)Changes to the notice. If the information in the notice changes prior to effecting the transfer or discharge, the facility must update the recipients of the notice as soon as practicable once the updated information becomes available.

(7)Orientation for transfer or discharge. A facility must provide and document sufficient preparation and orientation to residents to ensure safe and orderly transfer or discharge from the facility. This orientation must be provided in a form and manner that the resident can understand.

(8)Notice in advance of facility closure. In the case of facility closure, the individual who is the administrator of the facility must provide written notification prior to the impending closure to the State Survey Agency, the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, residents of the facility, and the resident representatives, as well as the plan for the transfer and adequate relocation of the residents, as required at § 483.70(l).

(9)Room changes in a composite distinct part. Room changes in a facility that is a composite distinct part (as defined in § 483.5) are subject to the requirements of § 483.10(e)(7) and must be limited to moves within the particular building in which the resident resides, unless the resident voluntarily agrees to move to another of the composite distinct part's locations.

(d)Notice of bed-hold policy and return -

(1)Notice before transfer. Before a nursing facility transfers a resident to a hospital or the resident goes on therapeutic leave, the nursing facility must provide written information to the resident or resident representative that specifies -

(i) The duration of the state bed-hold policy, if any, during which the resident is permitted to return and resume residence in the nursing facility;

(ii) The reserve bed payment policy in the state plan, under § 447.40 of this chapter, if any;

(iii) The nursing facility's policies regarding bed-hold periods, which must be consistent with paragraph (c)(3) of this section, permitting a resident to return; and

(iv) The information specified in paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

(2)Bed-hold notice upon transfer. At the time of transfer of a resident for hospitalization or therapeutic leave, a nursing facility must provide to the resident and the resident representative written notice which specifies the duration of the bed-hold policy described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(e)

(1)Permitting residents to return to facility. A facility must establish and follow a written policy on permitting residents to return to the facility after they are hospitalized or placed on therapeutic leave. The policy must provide for the following.

(i) A resident, whose hospitalization or therapeutic leave exceeds the bed-hold period under the State plan, returns to the facility to their previous room if available or immediately upon the first availability of a bed in a semi-private room if the resident

(A) Requires the services provided by the facility; and

(B) Is eligible for Medicare skilled nursing facility services or Medicaid nursing facility services.

(ii) If the facility that determines that a resident who was transferred with an expectation of returning to the facility cannot return to the facility, the facility must comply with the requirements of paragraph (c) as they apply to discharges.

(2)Readmission to a composite distinct part. When the facility to which a resident returns is a composite distinct part (as defined in § 483.5), the resident must be permitted to return to an available bed in the particular location of the composite distinct part in which he or she resided previously. If a bed is not available in that location at the time of return, the resident must be given the option to return to that location upon the first availability of a bed there.

[ 81 FR 68855, Oct. 4, 2016]

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