Almost lost in the dust-up over some aspects of the newly released Patient-Driven Payment Model is the fact that skilled nursing providers will receive a healthy 2.4% Medicare market basket increase, starting Oct. 1.

That’s a result of a raise that was spelled out in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. A year earlier, skilled care saw a 1% boost, amounting to $370 million in additional pay.

“We are supportive of a payment system that accurately reimburses for the needs of residents,” said Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge. “CMS clarified some areas of concern in the final rule but many questions remain about the implementation and impact of this new model.”

American Health Care Association President and CEO Mark Parkinson called the 2.4% boost “essential.”

Industry experts said that the final rule is largely the same as what officials presented a few months earlier. One notable change was making an interim payment assessment optional.

Starting on Oct. 1, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services plans to start using a new case-mix model, the Patient-Driven Payment Model, which focuses on a resident’s condition and care needs. PDPM is a switch from last spring’s originally pitched RCS-1.