CMS bumps up nursing facility payments

Skilled nursing facilities, which receive many of their patients directly from hospitals, will receive a 1.8 percent payment bump in fiscal 2013 from the Medicare program, the Centers from Medicare & Medicaid Services announced last week.

Altogether, the payment increase totals 2.5 percent, although 0.7 percent has been eliminated as part of a projected uptick in productivity that was part of a cost-cutting measure contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, AHA News Now noted. On a regional basis, the increases will range from 0.3 percent to 2.7 percent, according to Long Term Care News.

The total increase represents about $670 million for the fiscal year, which begins on Oct. 1, according to the CMS.

"After years of reimbursement volatility, today's update to Medicare payments is welcome news to skilled nursing providers," Mark Parkinson, CEO of the American Health Care Association, told Long Term Care News.

According to the publication, many providers had feared cuts in the prospective payment system rate, which totaled 9.9 percent for fiscal 2012.

For more:
- here's the CMS announcement (.pdf)
- here-s the AHA News Now brief
- read the Long Term Care News article