Case Management

Case management Q&A

Case Management Weekly, July 11, 2012

Q. How many choices must a patient receive during the discharge planning process?

A. No rule or regulation appears to state specifically how many choices patients must receive during the discharge planning process. However, many hospitals have policies regarding the number of choices to give Medicare patients, and many discharge planners suggest a minimum of three choices. This ensures a backup choice if the first choice becomes unavailable.
 
Regardless, the requirement to provide appropriate choices supersedes any requirement, self-imposed or otherwise, to provide a specific number. Note, however, that some states and Washington, D.C., have specific rules regarding the number of choices given to Medicaid patients. Discharge planners should contact their state Medicaid programs to determine whether specific guidelines regarding how to give patients a choice of skilled nursing facilities exist. 

Editor’s note: This Q&A is adapted from Discharge Planning Guide: Tools for Compliance, Third Edition published by HCPro, Inc.

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