Stakeholders were keeping a close eye on any data available at press time that could lead to conclusions about the recently instituted Patient Driven Payment Model.

Although the new payment scheme went into effect Oct. 1 and many said that one quarter’s worth of data should have been enough to gauge the impact of the overhaul, those predictions proved hasty by the time the initial three-month period had closed.

American Health Care Association President and CEO Mark Parkinson said an upcoming key would be a wave of quarterly earnings reports scheduled for late January and parts of February.

But the real heavyweight when it comes to possible recalibrations of the supposedly revenue-neutral system will be patient outcomes, he asserted. It could take as long as six months, or more, for regulators to come to any conclusions about revisions.

“If CMS needs to make changes on the revenue or other side, we’ve got to have patient-outcome data to know what the logical changes will be,” he said. “We’re going to have to be patient.” 

Pay rates could be recalculated next fiscal year. Or they might not change significantly at all, if overall reimbursement rates are not drastically higher or lower than under the RUGs-based system.