42 CFR § 485.642 - Condition of participation: Discharge planning.
A Critical Access Hospital (CAH) must 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. The discharge planning process and the discharge plan must be consistent with the patient's goals for care and his or her treatment preferences, ensure an effective transition of the patient from the CAH to post-discharge care, and reduce the factors leading to preventable CAH and hospital readmissions.
(a) Standard: Discharge planning process. The CAH's discharge planning process must identify, at an early stage of hospitalization, those patients who are likely to suffer adverse health consequences upon discharge in the absence of adequate discharge planning and must provide a discharge planning evaluation for those patients so identified as well as for other patients upon the request of the patient, patient's representative, or patient's physician.
(1) Any discharge planning evaluation must be made on a timely basis to ensure that appropriate arrangements for post-CAH care will be made before discharge and to avoid unnecessary delays in discharge.
(2) A discharge planning evaluation must include an evaluation of a patient's likely need for appropriate post-CAH services, including, but not limited to, hospice care services, post-CAH extended care services, home health services, and non-health care services and community based care providers, and must also include a determination of the availability of the appropriate services as well as of the patient's access to those services.
(3) The discharge planning evaluation must be included in the patient's medical record for use in establishing an appropriate discharge plan and the results of the evaluation must be discussed with the patient (or the patient's representative).
(5) Any discharge planning evaluation or discharge plan required under this paragraph must be developed by, or under the supervision of, a registered nurse, social worker, or other appropriately qualified personnel.
(6) The CAH's discharge planning process must require regular re-evaluation of the patient's condition to identify changes that require modification of the discharge plan. The discharge plan must be updated, as needed, to reflect these changes.
(7) The CAH must assess its discharge planning process on a regular basis. The assessment must include ongoing, periodic review of a representative sample of discharge plans, including those patients who were readmitted within 30 days of a previous admission, to ensure that the plans are responsive to patient post-discharge needs.
(8) The CAH must assist patients, their families, or the patient's representative in selecting a post-acute care provider by using and sharing data that includes, but is not limited to, HHA, SNF, IRF, or LTCH data on quality measures and data on resource use measures. The CAH must ensure that the post-acute care data on quality measures and data on resource use measures is relevant and applicable to the patient's goals of care and treatment preferences.
(b) Standard: Discharge of the patient and provision and transmission of the patient's necessary medical information. The CAH 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.
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