I am an Intake Coordinator for our hospital based home health/hospice agency. Twice a week I meet with the Charge Nurse and we review patients that might need home health assistance after discharge. We are considered a rural area (50 miles from another hospital) and happen to be the only home health agency in our area. After the meeting with the Charge Nurse, I check the chart and if appropriate place a form on the chart asking the doctor if the patient would benefit from home health/hospice. Issues have been brought to the CEO's attention/Compliance Officer/Etc that what I am doing is violation of HIPPA. They state that because I am not involved in direct patient care we should not be allowed that information.
1. They want Social Services to continue discharge planning. I find this lacking since they are not medically driven and sometimes do not check charts sometimes for >4-5 days or not at all. We were asked several years ago not to attend Discharge Planning.
2. Utilization Review is not in direct patient care either and they have access to the patient's charts.
3. Can it be a conflict of interest if we suggest home health after discharge and our agency happens to be the only agency in the area? If another agency was in the area, the patient could then choose which one they want.
4. Why is not considered continuity of care?
I hope this is not too lengthy. Are you involved in hospital discharge planning at all? I would appreciate some feedback. Thanks.