James M. Berklan, Editor

If you’ve toiled around the skilled nursing field over the last year, you might have noticed there’s this PDPM thing that seems to be grabbing a lot of attention. 

As you flip through this issue of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, in fact, you’ll notice each of our expert columnists, and our corp of Reader Poll respondents (at right), have weighed in on PDPM.

I merely want to ask if they’ve even named it properly.

This RUG-IV replacement system officially stands for “Patient-Driven Payment Model,” of course, or so they tell us.

My colleague, the inimitable Gary Tetz, however, first noted in January that, to him at least, PDPM stands for the “Patient-Driven Panic Model.”

He might have something there. After all, it wasn’t long after he started using his form of PDPM that Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma revealed herself as an avid reader of his   columns. She’s tweeted about or at him multiple times — and always it has been with respect. Coincidence?

Perhaps it’s because she knows Gary was on to something and might start a movement where others come up with insightful theories of what PDPM could really stand for. We may never know, but now that we’re thinking about it …

What if instead of the Patient-Drive Payment Model, we call it the “Panic-Driven Payment Model”? It’s well known, after all, that the Medicare fund is careening toward bankruptcy even as you read this.

Then again, depending upon how preparations progress, providers might start calling it the “Pretty Darn Preposterous Model.”

Or, given the mixed reviews it has received, some surely see it as “Partly Desirable, Partly Menacing.”

We know with certainty that others are worrying and thinking “Please Don’t Pimp Me” or simply, “Please Do Pay Me.”

And one suspects that when providers do get paid, many will be looking at their reimbursement checks and saying the same thing: “Please Deliver Poor Me” or more likely,“Pretty Damn Puny, Man!”

The stoic ones in the crowd may give their version of “tsk, tsk” about the overhaul and call it a “Philosophically Darn Poor Move.”

But come October 1 and beyond, it’s safe to say that providers and federal regulators alike simply will be hoping that nobody will be calling it the “Pretty Dumb Payment Model.”