Nursing home operators will receive an aggregate $750 million Medicare pay increase for fiscal year 2021 under a final rule announced Friday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. It would amount to a 2.2% net increase starting Oct. 1, 2020, when fiscal year 2021 begins. 

Originally, CMS proposed at 2.3% net increase, or $784 million, for fiscal 2021. That would have been the byproduct of a 2.7% market basket increase, less a 0.4% reduction for multifactor productivity adjustment.

This estimated increase is attributable to a 2.2% market basket increase, and adjusted by a 0.0 percentage point productivity adjustment, the agency explained. 

CMS also plans to apply a 5% cap to any decreases in a providers wage index from fiscal 2020 to 2021 under the rule. That will be informed by revised geographic delineations provided by the Office of Management and Budget to identify a provider’s status as an urban or rural facility and to calculate the wage index. 

The final rule also finalizes changes to the ICD-10 code mappings used under the Patient Driven Payment Model to classify skilled nursing patients into payment groups. Additionally, the rule finalizes updates to the SNF Value-Based Purchasing program to reflect previously finalized policies and updates the 30-day Phase One Review and Correction deadline to the baseline period quality measure quarterly report. 

CMS did not make changes to the measures, SNF VBP scoring policies or payment policies.

A CMS fact sheet on the final rule can be found here; the final rule itself can be found here.