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 SNF Rule Boosts Payments $500M

Medicare payments to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) could increase by $500 million next year under new rules proposed Wednesday by the Obama Administration.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Wednesday that it was proposing a 1.4 percent increase in payment rates to SNFs. In the aggregate, this will amount to $500 million for the sector, CMS said.

CMS is also proposing new rules that it hopes will clarify case-mix assignments and payments. Under this rule, a new item would be added to the minimum data set. Officials would record the number of “distinct calendar days” of therapy that a patient has received over the seven-day look-back period.

CMS also says that it wants to clarify rules about low- and medium rehab categories. Under the new rules, medium rehab payment categories would require five “distinct calendar days” of therapy; low rehab would require three “distinct days.”

The rules are open for comment until July 1. Anyone interested in the proposed rules can check here

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