Hospital Discharge Planning

Whether discharge from the hospital is to home, a short-term rehabilitation (“rehab”) center, or a residential nursing facility, having a comprehensive plan in place for care is critical to the health and well-being of the person you care for. The information on this page explain your rights...

Downloadable Documents | Online Articles | Podcasts & Webinars | Expert-level Resources

Downloadable Documents

California's Discharge Planning Law

Published by the California Hospital Association

This 5-page PDF is the text of California's discharge planning law, which went into effect on January 1, 2019 as part of the California Health and Safety Code. It requires that each hospital shall have a written discharge planning policy and process and states each patient's rights in detailed, clear language.


Your Discharge Planning Checklist

Published by Medicare, March 2019

Use this 6-page checklist throughout your hospitalization to prepare for discharge. Talk to your doctor and the staff about the items on the checklist. Check the box next to each item when completed. Use the notes column to write important information. Also included are tips to choosing a home health agency or nursing home, what to do if you think you’re being discharged too soon, space for your drug list and appointment schedule, and resources for community services and long term care planning.


Online Articles

Discharge Planning: Rights and Procedures for Medicare Beneficiaries in Various Care Settings

Published by the Center for Medicare Advocacy

This lengthy article discusses in detail what discharge planning plans for, what the hospital is supposed to do to prepare a patient and their primary caregiver for discharge, how you should be notified of your patient rights regarding discharge, and how to argue being discharged.

Hospital Discharge Planning

Published by Kaiser Permanente, July 11, 2023

Along with four short videos on the topic, this page provides an overview of what hospital discharge planning is, tips for communicating with the hospital care team and discharge planner to get all the information you need in writing for your loved one's best care at home or a care facility, and what to do if you don't feel ready for discharge.

Hospital Discharge Planning: A Guide for Families and Caregivers

Published by the Family Caregiver Alliance

This series of webpages offers information, tools, and resources for caregivers navigating the transition from hospital to home or a care facility, including legals issues affecting caregivers, keys to a successful transition, suggestions for improving the discharge process, checklists to help ensure the best care, and tips to remove barriers and encourage meaningful communication between you, the doctor, and other health care practitioners.

How to Fight a Hospital Discharge

By Trisha Torrey. Published by Very Well Health, February 16, 2020

This article is primarily for people who are not on Medicare, although there are some useful links for those who are. It explains why discharge is the decision of your insurance provider and what to do in situations when you should stay longer in the hospital.

Leaving the Hospital - Your Discharge Plan

Published by Medline Plus, July 21, 2022

This simple explanation of hospital discharge makes suggestions for deciding where you will go when you leave the hospital to receive appropriate continuing care, medical equipment you may need, and a short discharge checklist of what a comprehensive discharge plan should include.

Podcasts & Webinars

Discharge Planning is a Family Affair

By Family Caregiver Alliance, March 7, 2019

Expert speakers in this one hour webinar discuss regulatory issues that may affect hospital stay and discharge, why discharge planning is important and why family caregivers should be involved in decisions, important features of a good discharge plan, factors in making decisions about post-acute care, and who can help when problems arise.

Expert-Level Resources

Discharge Planning

By Paula R. Patel and Samuel Bechmann. Published in StatPearls, April 3, 2023

This article discusses the goals, considerations, and complexities of discharge planning. In the United States, discharge planning is required for hospital accreditation. Proper discharge planning reduces the rate of unplanned readmissions and/or complications, which may decrease the healthcare system's financial burden and correlates with a lowered readmission rate within 30 days, which directly affects reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid. Patient loyalty to return to the same hospital for readmission is associated with the quality of discharge planning.

Last updated August 2023 by Stanford Parkinson's Community Outreach