MedPAC Comments Against SNF Rate Increase

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 In the Skilled Nursing Facility proposed rule published in the April 20 Federal Register, CMS proposed an overall 1.4 percent payment update for Medicare skilled nursing payments. The rate increase includes a 2.6 percent market basket increase and two reductions - a 0.6 percent cut for productivity adjustment, as required by the Affordable Care Act, and a 0.6 percent trim as a forecast error adjustment. 

In a May 19 comment letter to CMS, MedPAC Vice Chairman Jon B. Christianson, Ph.D., said the commission "believes no update is warranted" because "Medicare's current level of payments appears more than adequate to accommodate cost growth, even before any update." The letter states that MedPAC came to their conclusion after reviewing indicators of beneficiary access, the volume of services, the supply of providers, and access to capital.

MedPAC called for CMS to move more aggressively toward value-based purchasing and quality reporting programs also reminded CMS of their recommendation to Congress last March to eliminate the market basket update, revise the prospective payment system, and rebase payments beginning with a 4 percent reduction to the base rate. 


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