Patient Transfer Agreements

Hospital industry leaders are urging the CMS to abandon a proposal that would make the need for a written transfer agreement redundant when an outpatient operations centre attempts to transfer a patient to the hospital. While 43 states require CET accreditation, only 30 require the ability to obtain emergency outpatient care. Fifteen of them are asking for a hospital transfer contract. The others require either an agreement or a hospital that grants privileges to CSA surgeons. (See the “State Situations” sidebar.) From economics to property to efficiency, there are many reasons why a surgeon might decide to manage cases in an outpatient operations centre. But not all CSA is prepared to deal with all emergencies in personnel and equipment. Hospital transfer contracts serve as a safety net for transporting and treating CSA patients in case of unexpected medical complications. Here`s a look at what you need to know about organizing, evaluating and verifying a hospital transfer contract. The active conditions of a hospital visit vary from case to case and must be defined in the written document. A transfer agreement may have an expiry date or it may indicate that it will remain in effect until a party terminates the contract. Operational centres continued to insist on the CMS to eliminate the need for a transfer contract.

They argued that even if hospitals grant the agreements, they use them to control the centres inappropriately. In 2016, there were 5,532 Medicare-certified outpatient surgery centers, an increase of 3.5% from 5,344 in 2011, according to federal data, and about 3.4 million Medicare enrollees receive care each year in centers. However, spending increased by about 27% over the five-year period, from $3.4 billion to $4.3 billion, because institutions are providing more services and seeing more patients. Some states require that the hospital with which the CSA arranges transfers be within a period of CSA travel. Illinois and Mississippi, for example, indicate 15 minutes, while Oklahoma indicates 20 minutes and Florida 30 minutes.

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