A copy of the transfer or discharge notice given to the resident must also be sent to a representative of the Office of the State Long Term Care Ombudsman which was to be implemented in November 2016 per F203 of the Federal Regulations / OBRA.
There has been some confusion because F 201 Transfer and discharge, F 202 Documentation, F 203 Notice before Transfer and F 204 Orientation for transfer or discharge have all been revised with more clarity and articulation. All of the revisions were implemented as a part of Phase I November 2016 except for F 202 Documentation implemented in Phase II November 2017.
The requirement to send a copy of transfer /discharge notices to the Ombudsman is a part of F 203 Notice before transfer revisions.
Sometimes there is confusion that all transfer discharge scenarios require a 30 day notice but there are really only two of the listed circumstances that require a 30 day notice which are a resident not paying the facility a private pay room and board bill or a facility ceasing to operate. There is always to be a transfer / discharge notice in all scenarios but the 30 day requirement is limited to only two.
The other more substantial revision other than the copy of the transfer/discharge notice going to the Ombudsman is F 202 requiring specific documentation at a minimum be given to the receiving provider upon transfer/discharge.
Information to be included is the residents’ responsible practitioner contact information, resident representative contact information, Advance Directive Information, special instructions or precautions for ongoing care, as appropriate, comprehensive care plan goals and all other necessary information including a copy of the resident’s discharge summary, consistent with 483.21(c)(2) as applicable, and any other documentation, as applicable, to ensure a safe and effective transition of care. So basically everything! Part of the surveyor’s investigative protocol for F202 is to ask the Ombudsman if there have been any complaints regarding transfer and/or discharge.
The requirement to provide a copy of all transfer / discharges notices to the Ombudsman is a way to better monitor and hold facilities accountable for any violation of residents transfer and/or discharge rights per Federal regulations.
There have been and continue to be many lawsuits across the U.S. for violating resident transfer and/or discharge rights which supports the revised regulations being more articulate in what a SNF must provide to the receiving provider upon transfer/discharge.
A big thank you to all of the Social Service Workers who work tirelessly for the residents and who will most likely be the ones to put this regulation into action.