CMS Projects $370 Million Increase in SNF Payments in 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized its fiscal year 2018 payment and policy changes for skilled nursing facilities on Monday, including pay increases for the coming year.

Payments to SNFs will increase in 2018 by $370 million, or 1%, compared to 2017, CMS projects.

This falls short of last year’s prediction of an $800 million, or 2.1%, year-over-year increase in 2017.

Additionally, CMS is finalizing the replacement of the SNF Quality Reporting Program (QPR) with an updated version, plus four new outcome-based functional measures that will take effect in fiscal year 2020. These measures include change in self-care score, change in mobility score, discharge self-care score and discharge mobility score for medical rehabilitation patients.

A Value-Based Purchasing Program is also set to take effect in October 2018, and will monitor SNFs operational policies and readmission rates. Additional proposals related to the scoring and operational policies for the VBP program were included in the final payment rule issued Monday. Among these policies include: The VBP program will include one readmission measure for each year, and the agency will reduce the per diem rate applicable to each SNF by 2% in a given fiscal year, to fund the VBP incentive payments for that year.

Written by Elizabeth Jakaitis

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