CMS proposes 1.0% Medicare raise for nursing homes

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has recommended increasing Medicare payments to skilled nursing facilities by $390 million in fiscal 2018. The agency proposed new payment rules for SNFs, hospices and inpatient facilities Thursday afternoon and all were pegged for 1.0% raises over 2017 rates.

If enacted as proposed, the nursing home payment rule (CMS-1679-P) would mark the lowest Medicare increase in recent years. Last April's proposed increase was 2.1%, or $800 million overall; the final rule ultimately issued last July contained a 2.4%, or $920 million, increase.

On Thursday, CMS also asked for comments on potential revisions to the SNF payment system and multiple proposed changes to the SNF Quality Reporting Program. The flurry of releases clearly reveals the administration's continued push toward the SNF Value-based Purchasing program.

A CMS fact sheet that details all the new proposals can be found here.

The rules are slated to be officially published in the Federal Register on May 4, with public comments on them due by June 26. Fiscal 2018 starts in October.

The proposals can be found at https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection/current.