CMS extends comment period for proposed new PPS

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Federal regulators announced Thursday that they are extending the comment period for a proposal to revise the skilled nursing facility prospective payment system case-mix methodology.

Stakeholders have been granted an additional 60 days to submit comments. The new deadline is at 5 p.m. Aug. 25, officials announced at a SNF Open Door Forum hosted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The proposition would revise the case-mix methodology, replacing the RUG-IV with the RCS-I case mix model. The changes included in this proposition are meant to increase the focus of treatment on the patient, rather than the payment. The new model would make changes such as separating therapy time from payment. This would mean steps such as limiting the amount of time spent in group therapy so as to ensure a proper amount of time in individual therapies is also spend, officials have explained.

The comment period was lengthened due to requests from professional associations and national industry organizations, CMS said.

“These organizations stated that by providing all stakeholders additional time to review and comment upon the ANPRM, they will be able to conduct a more comprehensive review of the refinements we are considering to the SNF PPS payment methodology and provide more meaningful comments,” CMS wrote in a statement.  

The changes for this proposition were developed through the SNF Payment Models Initiative.

The proposition is an advanced notice of a proposed rule making for fiscal 2019. The original call for comments came out in April with the updates for the Fiscal Year 2018 SNF payment rules.

Comments can be submitted electronically, by mail or in person. Click here to find numerous addresses comments can be sent to.