SNF pay to rise by $500 million

Medicare officials said they hope to increase skilled nursing facility reimbursements by $500 million in 2016 under a proposed new payment rate.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ties each year's payment rate to the skilled nursing facility market basket, an inflationary scale for goods and services. 

The 2016 rate proposed April 15 would be a net 1.4% increase from fiscal 2015. It would derive from a 2.6% market basket update reduced by a pair of 0.6% required adjustments, CMS said.

While long-term care leaders would naturally like a higher “raise,” they by and large expressed satisfaction with the increase that regulators suggest.

Starting in fiscal 2018, as part of the quality reporting program, CMS has proposed to adopt three measures addressing quality: Skin integrity and changes in skin integrity; incidence of major falls; and functional status, cognitive function and changes in cognitive function.  SNFs that do not submit quality data to CMS under an IMPACT Act program will have their annual updates reduced by 2 percentage points.