Skilled nursing facilities would get a 3.7% Medicare reimbursement increase in fiscal year 2024 under a proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published Tuesday.
CMS also pledged that a long-awaited and controversial regulation establishing minimum staffing ratios in nursing homes would begin this spring. President Joe Biden announced that policy, along with other nursing home industry initiatives, during his State of the Union address in 2022, but CMS has yet to take action to implement it. nursing home industry strongly opposes Federal employee ratio.
The nursing home payment proposal includes new market basket data, projected increases in productivity and patient-driven payment models with effects from the case-mix classification system that the agency finalized in 2018.
CMS is also considering adopting new measures for the skilled nursing facility value-based purchasing program, including data on staff turnover, patients’ functional status after discharge, hospitalization rates for long-term nursing home residents, and Revised metrics for readmission are included.
The draft regulation will also make changes to the quality reporting program to include updated measures for COVID-19 vaccination status for residents and staff.
Nursing home trade groups voiced their approval of the increased federal payments.
“We appreciate that CMS has considered the rising costs nursing home providers have grappled with in recent years due to the labor crisis and record inflation. It is critical that Medicare reflect rising costs – including those imposed by government mandates – Nursing homes are facing challenges to make sure our vulnerable residents get the care they need, Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association, said in a statement Tuesday. We look forward to submitting comments to CMS on this proposed rule.” The AHCA represents more than 14,000 long-term care providers.
Separately, CMS proposed a 1.9% increase in Medicare payments for inpatient psychiatric facilities in FY 2024. That draft regulation includes provisions that would measure those providers’ health equity efforts, such as the percentage of patients they screen for social determinants of health. The agency also proposes adopting a patient experience metric. The draft regulation includes similar changes to track COVID-19 vaccinations in nursing homes and Inpatient Rehabilitation Provider Proposed Rule for FY 2024.