The Kaiser Papers A Public Service Web Site   
In Copyright Since September 11, 2000
This web site is in no manner affiliated with any Kaiser entity and the for profit Permanente
Permission is granted to mirror this web site -
Please acknowledge where the material was obtained.
Link for Translation of the Kaiser Papers | ABOUT US  |  CONTACT  MCRC

Custom Search

Every older adult admitted to a hospital as an inpatient has the right to challenge a discharge if he or she feels unprepared to leave.

Too fast, unreasonable, apparent out of the blue hospital discharge problems and what you can do to at least slow it down.

Only senior patients admitted to the hospital qualify for the following.  If you as a senior patient are there under observational status you do not qualify.  This status can change during your stay, so keep on top of it so you know what the status is.

If you believe you're being discharged from a hospital too soon, you have the right to Immediate Review by the Beneficiary and Family Centered Care Quality Improvement Organization (BFCC-QIO) in your area.
See Medicare:

Know your rights.  - Within 2 days of your admission and prior to your discharge, you should get a notice called "An Important Message from Medicare about Your Rights" (sometimes called the Important Message from Medicare or the IM).

Contact information for your Medicare Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) — an entity charged with handling fast appeals as well as other matters, such as complaints about the quality of care.

Livanta -

If you don't get this notice, ask for it. This notice lists the BFCC-QIO's contact information and does explain:

    *  Your right to receive all medically necessary hospital services
    *  Your right to be involved in any decisions that the hospital, your doctor, or anyone else makes about your hospital                   services and to know who will pay for them
    *  Your right to receive the services you need after you leave the hospital
    *  Your right to appeal a discharge decision and the steps for appealing the decision
    *  The circumstances under which you will or won’t have to pay for charges for continuing to stay in the hospital
    *   Information on your right to get a detailed notice about why your covered services are ending
    *  Source:

If the hospital gives you the IM also known as the Message from Medicare more than 2 days before your discharge day, it must either give you a copy of your original, signed IM or provide you with a new one (that you must sign) before you’re discharged.

If you remain in the hospital for at least five days, you should receive a second notice before being discharged.

When being admitted read all documents.  Don't just blindly sign.  You don't know when they are planning to discharge you and in some cases those plans are made during admission.  If you wish another person to handle the paperwork then have them fill out this form here:

Once you file a complaint you cannot be discharged against your will.  Everything stops until the issue is resolved.  This in general takes two days.  You cannot be charged for the extra time you spend in the hospital.   Coinsurance payments and deductibles will still apply.

The hospital will send a copy of your records to the QIO,.  The records will be examined by an independent medical reviewer. If you want you do the right to see these documents. The QIO will contact you and will ask you about your discharge concerns.

If the QIO determines that a discharge is appropriate, you can stay in the hospital until noon the next day, at no extra charge. If the QIO overrules the hospital, you can stay until another discharge is suggested.  Your medical care in the hospital must be deemed medically necessary by your physician.  If your condition has stabilized you probably will be transferred.