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Preventing & Reducing Involuntary Discharge

We frequently receive calls regarding the process of involuntarily discharging a patient under the new Conditions for Coverage. Let us first emphasize that involuntary discharge should be the option of last resort. Discharged patients are at high risk for morbidity and mortality. Facilities should train staff in conflict management techniques and work to remove any barriers that patients may be facing. The medical director ensures that no patient is discharged or transferred from the facility unless:

  1. The patient or payer no longer reimburses the facility for the ordered services;
  2. The facility ceases to operate; or
  3. The transfer is necessary for the patient’s welfare because the facility can no longer meet the patient’s documented medical needs.
  4. The facility has reassessed the patient and determined that the patient’s behavior is disruptive and abusive to the extent that the delivery of care to the patient or the ability of the facility to operate effectively is seriously impaired.
  5. Immediate Severe Threat to the health and safety of others.

In the event that all options have been exhausted, the Network has several recommendations for the involuntary discharge process. Please refer to the resources below for additional information and notify the Network immediately if you are considering an involuntary discharge for any reason:

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