(a) Applicability and scope.
(1) For purposes of §§ 405.1204, 405.1205, 405.1206, and 405.1208, the term “hospital” is defined as any facility providing care at the inpatient hospital level, whether that care is short term or long term, acute or non acute, paid through a prospective payment system or other reimbursement basis, limited to specialty care or providing a broader spectrum of services. This definition includes critical access hospitals.
(b) Advance written notice of hospital discharge rights. For all Medicare beneficiaries, hospitals must deliver valid, written notice of a beneficiary's rights as a hospital inpatient, including discharge appeal rights. The hospital must use a standardized notice, as specified by CMS, in accordance with the following procedures:
(1) Timing of notice. The hospital must provide the notice at or near admission, but no later than 2 calendar days following the beneficiary's admission to the hospital.
(2) Content of the notice. The notice must include the following information:
(i) The beneficiary's rights as a hospital inpatient including the right to benefits for inpatient services and for post-hospital services in accordance with 1866(a)(1)(M) of the Act.
(ii) The beneficiary's right to request an expedited determination of the discharge decision including a description of the process under § 405.1206, and the availability of other appeals processes if the beneficiary fails to meet the deadline for an expedited determination.
(iii) The circumstances under which a beneficiary will or will not be liable for charges for continued stay in the hospital in accordance with 1866(a)(1)(M) of the Act.
(iv) A beneficiary's right to receive additional detailed information in accordance with § 405.1206(e).
(v) Any other information required by CMS.
(3) When delivery of the notice is valid. Delivery of the written notice of rights described in this section is valid if -
(i) The beneficiary (or the beneficiary's representative) has signed and dated the notice to indicate that he or she has received the notice and can comprehend its contents, except as provided in paragraph (b)(4) of this section; and
(4) If a beneficiary refuses to sign the notice. The hospital may annotate its notice to indicate the refusal, and the date of refusal is considered the date of receipt of the notice.
(c) Follow up notification.
(1) The hospital must present a copy of the signed notice described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section to the beneficiary (or beneficiary's representative) prior to discharge. The notice should be given as far in advance of discharge as possible, but not more than 2 calendar days before discharge.
(2) Follow up notification is not required if the notice required under § 405.1205(b) is delivered within 2 calendar days of discharge.
[71 FR 68720, Nov. 27, 2006]