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CMS Increases SNF Federal Payment Amount in FY 2018

August 01, 2017

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued a final rule regarding Medicare payment rates and quality programs for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) for the 2018 fiscal year (FY).

According to the CMS fact sheet summarizing the major provisions of the final rule, SNFs will receive a 1% increase in their federal payments, or $370 million dollars, compared with the 2017 FY. This 1% increase was part of the 2015 Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) mandate for all post-acute care providers (CMS news release. July 31, 2017).
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Previously proposed updates to the SNF Quality Reporting Program were also finalized in the rule, including replacement of the current pressure ulcer measure with a new version and four new functional status measures (to take effect in FY 2020), ie, change in self-care score, change in mobility score, discharge self-care score, and discharge mobility score

Measures that are to be publicly reported by fall 2018 include:

  • Potentially preventable 30-day post-discharge readmission measure
  • Discharge to community
  • Medicare spending per beneficiary
  • Application of percent of residents experiencing one or more falls (with major injury)
  • Percent of residents/patients with new or worsened pressure ulcers

According to CMS, “Policies in the final rule continue to build on CMS’ commitment to shift Medicare payments from volume to value, with continued implementation of the SNF Value-based Purchasing (VBP) program.”

The full final rule can be read online on the Federal Register website.—Amanda Del Signore

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