SNFs get $800 million payment increase, new quality measures under proposed rule for FY 2017

SNFs will get an $800 million, or 2.1%, Medicare payment increase under the proposed rule for FY 2017
SNFs will get an $800 million, or 2.1%, Medicare payment increase under the proposed rule for FY 2017

Skilled nursing facilities will receive Medicare payment increases of $800 million in FY 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Thursday evening.

The proposed funding boosts add up to a 2.1% increase from this year, CMS said, and is attributable to a 2.6% market basket increase docked by 0.5 percentage points.

Medicare payments for hospices will rise by $330 million, a 2% increase.

CMS' proposed payment and policy changes for 2017 also include the creation of a skilled nursing facility value-based purchasing program, which would give facilities value- and performance-based incentive payments beginning in FY 2019.

CMS also introduced four new quality and resource use measures for skilled nursing facilities, in accordance with the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014.

As expected, three new claims-based measures, set for FY 2018, include discharge to community, Medicare spending per beneficiary and potentially preventable 30 day post-discharge readmission measure for skilled nursing facilities.

A fourth, assessment-based measure was added for FY 2020, and will cover drug regimen reviews conducted with a follow-up for any identified issues. David Gifford, M.D., senior vice president of quality and regulatory affairs at the American Health Care Association, told McKnight's earlier this week that the drug reviews — which would review all medications to identify potential adverse effects, duplicate drug therapy or noncompliance — needed more testing.

Public comments on the proposed rule will be accepted until June 20, 2016. The final version of the rule is expected to be released in August or September so it can be implemented in time for FY 2017, which begins October 1, 2016.