Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), hospice providers and inpatient rehabilitation hospitals (IRFs) would all get payment bumps under proposed 2017 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services payment guidelines.
Altogether CMS plans to increase payments to those three types of providers by more than $1.2 billion in 2017.
SNFs will get the the biggest increase under the CMS proposal, 2.1 percent or $800 million in total. That includes a 2.6 percent market basked-based update, offset by a 0.5 efficiency reduction under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
CMS would increase hospice payments by 2 percent or $330 million. The increase would include a 2.8 percent market basket update and 0.8 percent of reductions mandated by the ACA.
IRFs would get the smallest bump, an increase of 1.6 percent or $125 million, under the CMS proposal. The pay bump includes a 2.7 percent market basket increase and a 0.2 percent jump for outlier cases, offset by ACA-mandated cuts of 1.25 percent.
CMS has also proposed changes to the quality reporting programs for all three providers, with a focus on patient safety concerns like patient falls and facility-acquired pressure ulcers, as well as changes to the value-based purchasing program for SNFs, which would include a new provision for improving the rates of readmissions to hospitals.
The Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services has been pushing for such a metric for SNFs for years, claiming that such readmissions cost the Medicare program more than $14 billion a year.
Hospice payments have also come under scrutiny, as reimbursements for such services have risen five-fold since 2000. However, recently instituted reforms include the tapering off of payments after the first several months of care.