News, Payment/economy, Skilled Nursing Facility

Hospital-based SNFs need new payment policies

The government should adjust Medicare payment policies to better support the type of care provided in hospital-based skilled nursing facilities, the American Hospital Association urged in a recent letter to Marilyn Tavenner, CMS Administrator.

The skilled nursing facility prospective payment system should take more account of non-therapy ancillary services, such as drugs and diagnostic X-rays, the AHA stated in its June 25 letter. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has also recommended this change, the letter noted.

Such changes would help hospital-based SNFs, which treat more medically complex patients, discharge patients with a much shorter length of stay, and use more ancillary services than other skilled facilities.

Click here to access the complete document, which served as the AHA’s official comment on the proposed rule for the fiscal year 2015 SNF prospective payment system.