The CMS announced three payment rules that propose increased payments to skilled-nursing facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities and hospice care, and implemented new quality measures.
The agency proposes nearly doubling the increase skilled-nursing facilities received last year, which would amount to an $800 million bump. Last year, they received only a 1.2% Medicare rate increase, leading to $430 million in higher payments over the previous year.
Medicare would also pay out $125 million more a year to rehabilitation facilities, but those facilities would face about $5.2 million in costs related to new quality-reporting requirements.
The CMS wants to boost Medicare payment rates to hospices by 2% next year and introduce two new quality measures. Hospices would receive another $330 million, compared to 2016. It's a significantly higher increase than the 1.1% bump received this year. The CMS also said in the proposed rule that it expects to begin publicly reporting on quality measures and other hospice data by the middle of next year.
The agency additionally finalized a skilled-nursing value-based program that will begin in 2019. HHS was mandated to establish a program that would pay skilled-nursing facilities based on their performance.
In the proposed rules, the agency said it would use measures that assess the rate at which SNF patients are readmitted within 30 days of being discharged from a facility paid under the inpatient prospective payment system, a critical-access hospital or a psychiatric hospital.
The comment period on the rules ends June 20.