Bill eases 3-day rule for many operators

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Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH)
Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH)

Above-average skilled nursing facilities may become exempted from Medicare's prior hospitalization requirement, per legislation from Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH).

Operators could qualify with an overall three-star rating on the government's Nursing Home Compare website. Others also could be eligible with a lower overall score, provided they receive four stars in either the individual quality or staffing quality categories, according to the legislation.

 “Eliminating the three-day stay not only will remove barriers to skilled nursing care, but it would represent a critical step toward achieving a more patient-centered healthcare system,” Renacci said.

The Medicare program requires a beneficiary spend three midnights as a hospital inpatient as a prerequisite to skilled care. This has led to patient manipulation on the acute care side, critics claim. 

Renacci did not address savings or additional cost questions, but the legislation requires the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission to complete a financial impact study by June 2016.


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