When you or a loved one is in the hospital, it is a stressful time for everybody involved. A hospital room teeming with medical professionals, worry, and often a lot of poking and prodding.
As a place of healing, you or your loved one should not leave the hospital until the patient is well on the road to recovery.
But what if the hospital is discharging you too early, or are discharging you without the proper services in place?
“A safe discharge is in your control, don’t let hospitals rush you into signing anything,” says Ginalisa Monterroso, CEO of Medicare & Medicaid Advisory Group.
“On the same note, don’t sign anything upon intake without having full knowledge of it.”
Speaking at Brooklyn Borough Hall on Wednesday last, she encourages everybody to consider their eligibility for Medicaid.
“Many hospitals have Medicaid offices on-site, so it’s worth visiting and seeing if you’re eligible. Hospitals also offer compassionate care, where you will be able to get certain care and services for free.
“We all must learn to become advocates.”
“Use Medicaid. The hospitals are always eager for us to leave but you cannot leave if it’s into an unsafe circumstance.”
According to the New York State Department of Health, a New York State hospital discharge notice should include information on your discharge date and how to appeal if you disagree with the notice.
A discharge notice must be provided to all patients (except Medicare patients who receive a copy of an “Important Message from Medicare”) in writing 24 hours before they leave the hospital. Medicare patients must request a written discharge notice (“The Important Message from Medicare”) if they disagree with discharge.
If requested, the notice must be provided.
Once the notice is provided and if the Medicare patient disagrees with the notice, an appeal can be processed. If you feel that you are being asked to leave the hospital too soon, you have the right to appeal.
You can appeal decisions made by your doctor, hospital staff or your managed care plan if you feel that you’re being discharged early, if needed services are not in place, and if you believe you have not been given adequate or appropriate plans for your medical care and other services you will require after discharge.
Information on appeals can be found on the discharge notice.
“It’s so important that you or your loved ones are safely discharged when you leave the hospital,” Monterroso continued.
“Not many people know this, but if 24 hour home care has been recommended for you, you can work together with the hospital to ensure you have a safe discharge - the hospital will arrange for a home health aide to leave the hospital with you. They will pay for someone to go home with the patient and ensure they are okay.”
Furthermore, all patients in NY State hospitals will receive a written discharge plan before they leave the hospital. This document includes details on all of the arrangements for any health care services you may need after you leave the hospital. The necessary services described in this plan must be secured or reasonably available before you leave the hospital.
This must be provided to you in writing before you leave the hospital.
Some hospitals have staff members who are called “discharge planners.” In other hospitals, a nurse or social worker may assist in discharge planning.
If you are a Medicaid patient that feels you are being discharged too early, you can call the Island Peer Review Organizations (IPRO) on 1-800-648-4776, or 1-516-326-6131.
For expert advice on Medicare, Medicaid, and Home care, give us a call on 646-745-9122 for a free consultation.
With Medicare Medicaid Advisory Group, you’re in safe hands.
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