Case Management

Case management Q&A

Case Management Weekly, October 10, 2012

Q. What is an available bed?

A. The use of the term available with respect to preparing a list of HHAs, SNFs, or hospice providers means that a discharge planner has qualified the agency and it has the capacity (in the form of services or beds) to meet the patient’s needs. The use of the term available is also significant with respect to terms of geographic distance (i.e., the geographic distance of a facility can affect whether it can be said to have an available bed).

 Discharge planners much discuss whether a bed is within a reasonable geographic distance with the utilization review committee. The committee’s responsibilities include determining whether the patient still requires hospital level of care and whether it is necessary to give the patient a notice of noncoverage. Discharge planners should begin discussions with the committee and/or probably the medical director about the geographic location of the nearest available bed as early as possible.
Editor’s note: This article is adapted from Discharge Planning Guide: Tools for Compliance, Third Edition, published by HCPro, Inc.

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