The CMS proposed a long-awaited refinement to the skilled-nursing prospective payment system to replace special add-on payments equaling $1.5 billion in fiscal 2005. Proposed adjustments to the PPS, coupled with a 3% increase for inflation, would keep fiscal 2006 Medicare payments at the current level, the CMS said. The changes, proposed in today's Federal Register, would take effect Jan. 1, 2006, the start of the fiscal second quarter. They include expanding the number of resource utilization groups, or RUGs, to 53 from 44 and raising payments for all RUGs. Long-term-care facilities have been receiving add-on payments since 2000. Read the proposed regulations. -- by Joseph Mantone
CMS proposes changes to skilled-nursing PPS
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