A new Kaiser Health News analysis reveals individual performances after last week’s announcement that only about 27% of the nation’s nursing homes are receiving a bonus payment for reducing hospital readmissions within 30 days.
The report noted that for-profit nursing homes — which account for about two-thirds of America’s skilled nursing facilities — are facing deeper payment cuts on average compared to their nonprofit and government-owned counterparts. Providers in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi have been hit hardest, with about 85% of their nursing homes losing money. Meanwhile, more than half of SNFs in Alaska, Hawaii and Washington are receiving bonuses.
In Ohio, about 76% of providers have been hit with penalties. KHN singled out Otterbein SeniorLife, which is having Medicare payments lowered at 12 of its 15 nursing home, as an example. The Ohio faith-based nonprofit will total about $100,000 in lost payments.
“We’re super disappointed,” said Chief Strategy Officer Pamela Richmond, adding that they are following up with former patients and home health agencies to try and smooth out care transitions. “This really puts the emphasis on us to go out and coordinate better care after they leave.”
The KHN website features an online tool to look up which nursing homes received a bonus payment or penalty under the program.
Altogether, 10,976 nursing homes are being penalized under the SNF Value-Based Purchasing Program while 3,983 are getting bonuses. The rest will not experience any change in payment, KHN noted.
Incentives were based on both how SNFs’ hospitalization rates in calendar 2017 compared with other facilities, and how much rates changed since 2015. With the incentives, Medicare is redistributing $316 million from poor-performing SNFs to the facilities that excelled.
The new bonus-penalty scheme is not a zero-sum game. Medicare will keep $211 million that it would have otherwise paid to nursing homes if the program did not exist.