Effective July 1, 2007 CMS has changed the process for notifying Medicare beneficiaries about their discharge and appeal rights. The final rule requires hospitals to provide to the beneficiary within TWO CALENDAR DAYS of discharge a copy of the discharge notice. If the notice is delivered more than two days in advance of discharge a second a notice must be delivered as soon as possible prior to discharge but no more than 2 days before.
If the decision is made to discharge a patient and the 2 day notice has not occurred then the patient is to be allowed a 4 hour window in which to decide if they concur with the discharge. If a patient clearly agrees with the discharge the discharge need not be delayed. If a patient appeals the discharge they remain in the hospital while IPRO reviews the case.
In order to be compliant with the new rule please begin documenting/communicating the anticipated discharge date as soon as possible. Any questions you have may be directed to the Care Managers on the units. You may also refer to the CMS website for the full ruling: www.cms.hhs.gov.