Thanks to recent updates, certain facilities may soon see more reimbursement for Medicare patients. At the end of April, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a set of new rules and updates, including a new provision for those who work in post-acute care facilities.
Under this update, the 2019 fiscal year will see a Medicare reimbursement boost of 1.8% for select hospice providers. Though this may not seem like much at first glance, the increase is equal to roughly $340 million. Even better, skilled nursing facilities are expected to receive a bump in Medicare reimbursement equal to $850 million. Rehabilitation facilities and inpatient psychiatric facilities can also expect payment increases. Though not as much as some of the other locations, they will still see boosts of $75 million and $50 million, respectively. For those who have questions or concerns regarding the updates, CMS is allowing public comments on these proposals until June 26, 2018.
In addition to upping reimbursements for post-acute care facilities, CMS is also looking into implementing a new value-based payment model for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). As part of the industry-wide shift away from fee-for-service care, this new model would allow SNFs to reduce reporting burdens while simultaneously providing better payment based on patient outcomes. As with the reimbursement updates, this new model is set to go into effect at the beginning of the new fiscal year in October.
If you are a coder or biller who works for one of these post-acute care facilities, there has never been a better time to review these updates in preparation for the fall. With these changes and more going into effect soon, it is crucial to stay informed on any changes in order to keep the cycle flowing smoothly, as well as to help protect your facility from any potential audits.