SNFs may see more payments based on quality; invited to weigh in on LTC requirements

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released reports tackling value-based purchasing for skilled nursing facilities, MDS frequency and goals for nursing homes.

The SNF Value Based Purchasing Report, released last month to Congress, offers ideas for how a value-based program for skilled nursing facilities “will be an important next step in linking payment to performance.” Among other suggestions, this could mean “payment withholds from poor performing SNFs, or by holding back a portion of the base payment rate or the annual update for all SNFs,” it states.

The report also says that consideration should be given to how SNFS can be “integrated into models that facilitate quality improvement across the care continuum.”

“For example, CMS could seek to expand bundled payment systems strategies that link acute and post-acute care,” the report states. Bundled payments, and accountable care organizations, are a hot topic among provider leaders.

A CMS official said Thursday during a Skilled Nursing Facility Open Door Forum that more recommendations on the value-based system for SNFs will be made after the agency's Nursing Home Value-Based Purchasing Demonstration results are analyzed and released in 2013.

Also noted on the call: The 2012 Nursing Home Action Plan has been released. According to CMS Deputy Director of the Division of Nursing Homes' Kathleen Wilson, that plan summarizes many of the plans for 2012, such as adding seven additional quality measures from MDS 3.0 data to Nursing Home Compare and redesigning Nursing Home Compare to improve navigability.

CMS also is working on an LTC Requirement Review, officials noted. The items under review are procedural and clinical issues under Subpart B, rather than payment-based, and include looking at burden reduction, person-centered care, and quality improvement issues such as reducing antipsychotic use and unnecessary hospitalizations. Providers are invited to submit their thoughts by August 17.

Finally, while the MDS Update is on track to be released this fall, providers can also see the latest MDS 3.0 frequency report by clicking here. The frequency report summarizes information for nursing home residents by state.