The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services yesterday extended the timeline for publishing a final rule revising discharge planning requirements for hospitals, critical access hospitals and home health agencies to Nov. 3, 2019, citing the complexity of the rule and scope of public comments. The proposed rule was published almost three years ago, requiring the agency to extend the timeline or forego finalizing the rule. “We are committed to publishing a final rule that provides clear health and safety standards for hospitals, HHAs, and CAHs,” CMS said.
 
In comments submitted in 2016, AHA said it generally supports the proposed rule, but urged the agency 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.

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