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Long-term care providers are participating in 'most ambitious test' of bundled payments, CMS announc

Nursing homes will receive a 2.2% Medicare pay boost for fiscal 2021, federal officials announced Friday. The rate reflects a 0.1% change from the net 2.3% market basket update originally proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on April 10. 

The increase amounts to an additional $750 million injected into the skilled nursing funding stream beginning Oct. 1, 2020, the start of the 2021 fiscal year.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, CMS also announced that it has limited annual SNF rulemaking required by statute to essential policies including Medicare payment to SNFs. Providers had appealed to the agency in a June 9 letter for extra consideration due to burdens from the coronavirus. Included were requests that certain waivers remain in effect.

The original CMS proposal in April would have given nursing homes a 2.3% ($784 million) net Medicare increase 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.

Providers say a healthy pay increase is needed because of triple-digit price increases for some equipment and double-digit staffing cost increases since the pandemic was declared in March.

A CMS fact sheet on SNF PPS (CMS-1737-F) can be found here. The final rule for SNF PPS (CMS-1737-F) can be found here.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.