Top provider CEOs optimistic about new CMS payment rules

Industry experts are still sorting out the long-term effects of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) new payment system for skilled nursing facilities, but early reviews from the CEOs of some top providers have been positive, according to Skilled Nursing News.

“I would say the rule that was just published is a positive for the industry,” Genesis Healthcare (NYSE: GEN) CEO George Hager told Skilled Nursing News in a phone conversation this week.

CMS last Friday rolled out its Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM), which the agency touted as a less paperwork-intensive overhaul of its previously announced Resident Classification System, Version I (RCS-I)  model. Both plans advance the goal of shifting reimbursement incentives away from volume and toward patient outcomes, but CMS contends that PDPM will achieve those aims with less confusion and bureaucratic headaches for providers.

While Hager cautioned that “the devil is always in the details,” he characterized the model as a streamlined system that will help providers save money in the long run.

“The real positive here is that this system will allow us to much better manage some significant cost elements in our business, the cost of providing rehabilitation therapy, [and] some of the administrative burdens in the existing system,” Hager said. “And, lastly, I think it significantly dilutes or reduces any kind of regulatory risk that exists today.”

In a prepared statement announcing his company’s first-quarter earnings results, Ensign Group (Nasdaq: ENSG) CEO Christopher Christensen thanked CMS for listening to industry concerns when developing the PDPM plan.

Read the full story at Skilled Nursing News.

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