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Florida Health Care Associations Release New Form to Improve Patient Transfer Status

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Florida's major health care associations, in conjunction with the Agency for Health Care Association, have joined forces to create a new voluntary Patient/Resident COVID-19 Transfer Status Communication tool that will quickly communicate the latest information about a patient's COVID-19 status from a transferring facility to another health care or long-term care facility. Currently, there are no state restrictions or prohibitions on transferring COVID-19 patients/residents whom a physician has medically cleared to a long-term care facility, amid ongoing efforts to manage the virus in all health care settings as cases in the community rise.

The new Transfer Status Communication Tool will enhance the ability to transfer/discharge patients between hospitals and post-acute settings in a timely manner. This impacts hospitals' ability to free up beds for other patients who may be held in the emergency department, and it affects post-acute and assisted living facilities' ability to appropriately manage those residents who may need a higher level of care.

"This information is important because it provides clarity and support to our member communities, especially during a time of confusion and uncertainty," said Gail Matillo, President and CEO of the Florida Senior Living Association. "I'm proud of our ability to collaborate and work with the Agency for Health Care Administration and the other associations to develop a responsible solution.

The new Transfer Status Communication Tool was developed with input from the Florida Hospital Association, Florida Senior Living Association, Florida Health Care Association, Florida Assisted Living Association and LeadingAge Florida with the hope that it will be used by a wide range of health care providers given that all emergency rules enacted by the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Department of Health governing patient transfers have been rescinded. Patients transferred from a hospital to a post-acute care setting no longer require two negative COVID-19 tests before discharge. Further, there are no restrictions on transferring COVID-19 patients who have been medically cleared for discharge to a post-acute setting. It should be noted, however, that the new Transfer Status Communication Tool does not eliminate the requirements of providing Form 1823 or Form 3008 for transfers to an assisted living facility or nursing home.

For more information, contact Amy W. Schrader or your Baker Donelson Health Law attorney.

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