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August 2, 2022

In this Issue:

  1. CMS Issues Final Rule Updating Medicare Payment Policies and Rates for Skilled Nursing Facilities
  2. CMS Adds Four New Staffing Measures to Care Compare
  3. Residents Invited to Respond: What Does Community Mean to You?

CMS Issues Final Rule Updating Medicare Payment Policies and Rates for Skilled Nursing Facilities

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule that updates Medicare payment policies and rates for skilled nursing facilities under the Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System (SNF PPS) for fiscal year (FY) 2023.  CMS is finalizing an increase of 2.7%, approximately $904 million, in Medicare payments to SNFs.  In FY 2022, Medicare spending to nursing homes is projected to be approximately $33.5 billion.

Due to the transition to the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM), a SNF payment classifaction model, CMS is also finalizing a two year phase-in of an adjustement to the SNF payment rates. PDPM was to be implemented in a budget neutral manner, meaning it would not result in an increase or decrease in aggregate SNF spending.  Since PDPM implementation, CMS's analysis of FY 2020 and FY 2021 found an unintended increase of approximately 5%, or $1.7 billion, in Medicare Part A SNF spending per year.  For this reason, CMS is finalizing the adjustment factor of 4.6% to SNF payment rates.  The adjustment factor will be phased in over a two year period, resulting in a 2.3%, or approximately $780 million, reduction to FY 2023 payment rates and a 2.3% reduction in FY 2024.

For more information, read the fact sheet from CMS.

CMS Adds Four New Staffing Measures to Care Compare

In January, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began posting new weekend staffing and staff turnover measures to the Nursing Home Five Star Quality Rating System on Care Compare.  With the July 27, 2022 release, CMS has added four new measures.

In addition to existing staffing measures for registered nurse (RN) and total nurse hours per resident per day, the new measures include:

  • Total nurse (RN, licensed practical nurses, and nurse aids) staffing hours per resident per day on weekends.
  • Total nurse staff turnover within a given year.
  • RN turnover within a given year.
  • Number of administrators who have left the nursing home within a given year.

Additionally, CMS will no longer add one star to the overall rating of facilities that have a four-star staffing rating.  Rather, only facilities with a five-star staffing rating will receive an increase in their overall star rating.

For more information, read the press release from CMS.

Residents Invited to Respond: What Does Community Mean to You?

Resident's Voice Challenge

Being a part of a community is essential to our well-being. This year's Residents’ Rights Month theme - Inspiring Unity within Our Community - emphasizes the importance of fostering meaningful community within the facility and encouraging residents’ connection to their local community.  Residents' Rights Month is an event held every October to honor residents living in all long-term care facilities.

This year, for the annual Resident's Voice Challenge, residents are invited to reflect artistically on the theme.  Plus, we are inviting groups of residents to create a shared poster reflecting on this year's theme.

Visit our website for more information on how to participate.

Submissions are due September 1, 2022.

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