The AHA yesterday said it generally supports the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ proposed rule revising discharge planning requirements for hospitals, critical access hospitals and home health agencies. In comments submitted to the agency, Ashley Thompson, AHA senior vice president for public policy analysis and development, said AHA “agrees with CMS’s goal for hospitals to have comprehensive, multi-disciplinary discharge planning processes that incorporate evidence-based practices, patient-centeredness and community engagement.” However, AHA urged CMS to allow flexibility in the discharge planning requirements for certain categories of outpatients. Among other recommendations, AHA asked CMS to clarify in the final rule that compliance with the updated standards will be evaluated within the context of a hospital or CAH’s community resources, noting that the U.S. has a shortage of mental health care providers.