If you've been paying attention, you should be aware that nursing homes are experiencing declining census numbers, but the regulatory environment for SNFs continues to increase in complexity. If you've had trouble keeping it straight, take a deep look at Elise's insights this month as she takes us through all the challenges facing the industry we serve.
Elise reports on the January meeting and finalizes its recommendations to Congress for payment policy in 2019. This is the annual ritual where the Commission assembles its mountain of data and tells Congress which providers, in its estimation, are being overpaid, underpaid and how payments could be improved.
As usual, MedPAC thinks nursing homes get paid too much under Medicare and has some recommendations. I won't spoil the story, so if you want to know what they think, read more.
Elise reported earlier on the CMS proposed rule to remove total knee replacement from the list of "inpatient only" procedures under the Medicare Outpatient Payment System. The agency has finalized the rule, which means that recipients undergoing outpatient knee replacement will not have a 72-hour hospital stay in order to qualify for Medicare Part A rehabilitation in a SNF.
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Elise points to the increasing demands being placed on nursing homes and turns her attention to recent research presented to MedPAC concerning Medicare beneficiaries tendency to choose low-performance nursing homes. Elise provides some background on this issue, noting that hospitals are generally prohibited from recommending SNFs to patients being discharged.
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CMS recently published a proposed rule on Hospital Outpatient Payment System updates and asked for comments on allowing hip and knee replacements to be performed in outpatient settings. Elise discusses the implications on nursing facilities if Medicare beneficiaries stop using SNFs for rehabilitation.
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Various Federal agencies have been working for years to come up with a unified payment system for post-acute care (PAC). In this paper, Elise gives us a much-needed history of the policy and its development, featuring the star players CMS and MedPAC.Why should you care? Your PAC customers have a lot riding on how the drama finally resolves. They care about this, and so should we. See more here.
On June 8, 2017, CMS issued a proposed rule that reversed its position prohibiting pre-dispute arbitration agreements in long term care facilities. This was the culmination of policy making and unmaking that, with respect to the latest clash on Skilled Nursing Facility/ Nursing Facility arbitration practice, started on October 4, 2016. See more here
Ah, Spring! The flowers in bloom, the pollen in the air and CMS releases its annual notice of proposed SNF PPS rates for the coming fiscal year.
Although this normally strikes terror in the hearts of the policy-consuming public, fear not. This year we are fortunate to have Elise Smith's summary of this important document at our disposal. Take a look at Elise's take.
While you have been frolicking over these past several years, CMS has been steadily preparing an assault on the status quo as it relates to Medicare payment policy for SNFs under Part A.
According to another insightful analysis by Elise, CMS suspects SNFs have been gaming the RUGs system and proposes a new payment methodology based on more "objective" standards than the number of rehabilitation hours a resident will require. Read this and your confusion over the new proposal will vanish like your paycheck in Las Vegas.
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission was created to advise Congress on Medicare payment policy. This agency is a mystery to many of us. Thankfully, Elise Smith once again makes the opaque transparent with an excellent overview of the Commission's March report, as well as helpful background on the role MedPAC plays in post acute care. Read Elise's Post.
Remember our anxiety, waiting for CMS to release its final rule on LTC Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid? We all (mostly) read the rule eagerly, looking to see how hard life was about to become for the nursing home industry.
A few months have passed since then. So, where is the industry on implementing all those very expensive requirements? Elise Smith has, once again, been talking with the movers in the industry and files this informative report.
The new year is upon us, and with it another year of triumph, near misses and major disappointments. So, what keeps our friends in the nursing home industry awake at night?
Take a look at Elise's take on the major policy issues facing the industry in the months ahead.
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