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CMS raises reimbursement by 1%, pushes VBP

August 4, 2017
by Pamela Tabar, Editor-in-Chief
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Nursing homes will get a slight bump in Medicare reimbursement rates next year, but the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) also is ramping up its focus on quality reporting and value-based purchasing in FY 2018.

Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) can expect a 1 percent increase in FY 2018, or approximately $370 million, CMS noted in its final rule. CMS also raised the hospice and inpatient rehabilitation facility reimbursement rates by 1 percent for FY 2018, or about $180 million. Both rate increases are mandated by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).

The 2018 Skilled Nursing Prospective Payment Final Rule includes the final policies for the SNF Value-Based Purchasing Program for FY 2019, which will be the program’s first year. The program will include one readmission measure per year, and SNFs that rank in the lowest 40 percent will be reimbursed less than their better performing counterparts. In Year One, the total amount of value-based incentive payments a SNF can claim will be 60 percent of the total amount withheld from SNF’s Medicare payments for that year.

CMS also announced a slight reduction in Medicare Part D premiums—about $1.20 less, on average—for FY 2018.

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