- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Wednesday proposed a 1.4% rate increase for skilled nursing facilities in 2016. The payment hike would add up to an overall $500 million increase from fiscal year 2015, the agency said.
- The 1.4% is derived from the market basket increase of 2.6% (the costs of goods and services need to render skilled nursing care, adjusted for inflation), after certain routine adjustments have been applied.
- The increase matches the 1.4% hike the agency mandated in 2014, but is a drop from the $750-million boost that skilled nursing facilities received in 2015.
2016 will also be the advent of the SNF Quality Reporting Program, under which SNFs that don't submit quarterly quality data to the agency could see a 2% reduction in payments. The agency revealed a few more details about the program following the rate announcements, including the three domain measures the program will address: skin integrity and changes in skin integrity; incidence of major falls; and functional status, cognitive function, and changes in function and cognitive function.
The agency has also proposed the creation of a value-based purchasing program for SNFs, tying some portion of payments to SNFs' 30-day all-cause hospital readmission measure. The agency is asking for comments now.