Case Management

Tip: Consider HHA or post-acute level transfers

Case Management Weekly, February 1, 2012

Discharge planners have the difficult task of being the messenger with respect to continued stay. They require the support of administration in working through the process with physicians and other caregivers in compliance with applicable laws.

Patient or family inconvenience can be a significant factor with respect to length of stay, especially when the discharge plan requires education or coordination of multiple services. Without valid medical conditions, however, factors that may cause the patient or family inconvenience don’t justify a continued hospital stay. Factors can include time and money necessary to care for the patient at home, concern about traveling to a physician’s office, or matters that cause the patient to worry.

For example, if a patient is medically no longer in need of hospital care but the primary caregiver isn’t comfortable handling that role, the discharge plan may require modification. If a patient is being discharged to home without services, referral to an HHA or transfer to a post-acute level of care may be necessary while the patient’s family learns to administer care.

This week’s tip is adapted from Discharge Planning Guide: Tools for Compliance, Third Edition, published by HCPro, Inc. For more information about this book or to order your copy, visit the HCMarketplace.

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