CMS to Raise Skilled Nursing Payments by 2% in 2015

Skilled nursing facilities will see a 2% increase in reimbursements in fiscal year 2015 thanks to a proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

CMS on Thursday issued a proposed rule outlining fiscal year 2015 Medicare payment rates for skilled nursing facilities. Aggregate payments to skilled nursing facilities in 2015 will increase by a projected $750 million compared to the previous year.

This represents a higher payment update factor than the 1.3% update that was finalized for skilled nursing reimbursements last year. The estimated increase is attributable to 2.4% market basket increase, reduced by the four basis point multifactor productivity adjustment required by law, notes CMS in the announcement. 

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“America’s skilled nursing care centers are pleased to see a proposed two percent market basket increase to providers’ Medicare reimbursement,” said Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of nursing home trade group the American Health Care Association, in a statement. “These centers have shared in the sacrifice plenty through multiple government reductions over recent years. A stable Medicare payment system is essential in keeping skilled nursing care accessible to our seniors.”

CMS is also proposing a revision to its current Change of Therapy (COT) Other Medicare Required Assessment (OMRA) policy to address a provider concern regarding a technical aspect of the resident classification rules for new resource utilization groups (RUGs). The revision would allow providers to use the COT OMRA to reclassify a resident into a therapy RUG from a non-therapy RUG in certain limited circumstances.

View the proposed rule on the Federal Register. 

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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