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Mass. Gen. Laws. Ann. ch. 111, § 51D - Discrimination by acute hospitals against Medicare beneficiaries; Discharge planning

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An acute hospital cannot establish discriminatory practices in relation to admission, availability of services or treatment or transfer for any patient only because he or she is a Medicare beneficiary.   The Department of Community Health must establish an advocacy office that deals with complaints and allegations of discriminatory behavior.  Hospitals must post all of the rights available and give written notice to Medicare beneficiaries.  Every acute care hospital must provide each Medicare patient a discharge plan.  The discharge plan must meet several criteria, such as identifying the post hospital care that the patient needs, services that have been arranged for the patient, the names and phone numbers of relevant service providers, service schedule, medications to be taken, and scheduled follow up visits.  The discharge plan must be signed by the patient or his or her authorized representative.

The Department of Community Health must evaluate whether the Medicare prospective payment system has affected the quality of care delivered.  Acute care hospitals must submit to the Department relevant data to conduct the evaluation.  The Department must protect the confidentiality of patient information.  The Department must give the hospitals 30 days notice before releasing any reports or findings. 


Current as of June 2015