Just a minute! RCS-1 timing is still up in air

No timeline has been set for finalizing or implementing a major replacement payment system for therapy patients, a federal official revealed on a national conference call in early March.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a proposed rule on the system, RCS-1, in spring 2017. But John Kane, a skilled nursing team leader for the agency, told listeners on an Open Door Forum call that no dates could be set regarding implementation.

He said “a significant number” of comments and questions had been received about RCS-1, which some observers had forecast as likely to be the “story of the year.”

RCS-1 is largely considered a replacement for the RUG system and would, among other things, do away with reimbursement based on number of minutes of therapy delivered. Insiders said a previously hoped-for Oct. 1 implementation date was still possible but looking less and less likely at press time.