Skilled-nursing facilities will get a smaller rate increase than initially proposed by the CMS for fiscal 2016. The providers will now receive a 1.2% Medicare rate increase, leading to $430 million in higher payments.
In April, the agency initially proposed a 1.4% rate increase that would have led to $500 million in higher Medicare payments.
The decrease is due to various changes in calculations including inflation predictions, according to a CMS spokesman.
The finalized rule increase is down from the 2% bump, or additional $750 million, that the facilities received for fiscal 2015.
There are more than 15,000 skilled-nursing facilities throughout the country and they admit more than 2 million patients in the traditional Medicare program each year.
In addition to the rate increase, the rule finalizes implementation of a 30-day, all-cause readmission measure to examine why people return to a skilled-nursing facility after discharge.
The CMS also finalized shifting more payments to being value-based rather than volume-based. Such a shift would mean implementing quality measures related to residents' functional status, cognitive function, skin integrity and their incidence of major falls. But those quality measures wouldn't be used to determine payment until fiscal 2018.
For the fiscal 2018 value-based payment model, skilled-nursing facilities would submit data on the proposed quality measures for residents who are admitted to their facilities between Oct. 1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2016.