A new hospital information-sharing requirement will help physicians improve care transitions and data exchange with local facilities.
As of May 1, hospitals must electronically share their admit, discharge, and/or transfer (ADT) notices with the patient’s established primary care physician, group, or other practitioner identified by the patient. The requirement, a condition of participation under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Interoperability and Patient Access final rule, applies to all patients who receive emergency department (ED) or inpatient services, including at psychiatric hospitals.
As part of the same rule, physicians are required to update their digital contact information in the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System so hospitals have the information they need to electronically send the ADT notices. Your digital contact should not be a standard email address but rather a Direct Protocol or similar HIPAA-compliant address.
“This requirement is intended to improve care coordination by alerting you when your patient shows up at the emergency department and allows you to appropriately follow-up with your patient upon discharge from the hospital,” says Ogechika Alozie, MD, chair of the Texas Medical Association’s Committee on Health Information Technology. At a minimum, the notification must include the name of the patient, treating practitioner, and sending institution.
For example, there may be instances of multiple admission notifications for one patient, including:
- If a patient who enters through the emergency department is not admitted to receive inpatient services, the hospital must send a notification of the patient’s ED visit;
- Once a patient is admitted and is receiving inpatient services, another notification must be sent as the patient’s admission status changes;
- If a patient transferred to another facility, the physician receives a notice of transfer; and
- A physician would receive notice once a patient is discharged, whether from inpatient or outpatient admissions.
The facility can send notices either directly to the physician or via an intermediary such as a health information exchange (HIE). Hospitals should not charge physicians a fee to receive ADT notifications.
If physicians are connected to a local HIE, the HIE can send the ADT notices on behalf of the participating hospital. For physicians not yet connected to an HIE, TMA suggests exploring Texas’ five public HIEs:
If you are in an area not covered by an HIE, the Texas Health Services Authority is facilitating the building of interfaces to local HIEs, hospitals, and physician practices. Email for more information.
If you have questions about ADT notifications or other office technologies, contact TMA’s Health Information Technology Department at (800) 880-5720 or via email.