Feds will raise nursing-home payments, not cut them as planned
Nursing homes will get a big increase in payments from Medicare payments instead of the cut that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services originally planned.
“In April, CMS proposed cutting
Medicare Part A payments to nursing homes by $320 million. The transition to a new nursing-home payment model in 2019 inadvertently led to a 5% pay increase in fiscal 2020, requiring a decrease in payments next year, according to the draft regulation,” Modern Healthcare reports
. “But the agency has changed course, and will phase in that payment correction over two years to ease the burden on providers still struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic, the final rule says.”
That means nursing homes will get a 2.7% increase next year in Medicare rates, an overall increase of $904 million. “While this is relatively more advantageous for skilled nursing facilities than the initial proposal, it falls short of the three-year phase-in the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living requested,” MH reports. “AHCA President and CEO Mark Parkinson nevertheless believes the final rule will help providers during a stressful time.”
LeadingAge, the lobby for not-for-profit providers, was unhappy. “We warned CMS that this is not the time to cut payments,” President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan said in a news release. “Spreading the impact of the adjustment over two years . . . is helpful, but the end result adds to the chronic financial neglect of our nation’s nursing homes—in a time of real crisis.”