Communication is known to be the Achilles’ heel of the SNF. Many errors in the business office can be traced back to poor communication. Merriam-Webster includes in its definition of communication a message that is given to someone: a letter, telephone call, etc. Is that message being received, and is it acted upon promptly and properly?
Beginning this year, starting in May and going through October, there are a number of SNF regulatory elements that are being addressed. Hospitalization and readmission rates (to) post-hospitalization from SNFs will be measured and ultimately, factored into the SNF landscape via reimbursement penalties and star ratings. Below is a quick summary of the issues.
Scrutiny of ultra-high therapy claims intensifies as CMS releases PUF data that underscores some potentially concerning trends. First it was the Office of Inspector General report exclaiming SNF providers were overpaid for therapy claims by more than $1.1 billion. Then came the $125 million RehabCare settlement. Now CMS has added another layer to the conversation about ultra-high therapy by publicly releasing therapy utilization rates for SNFs.
Five of the new measures will be phased into the Five-Star Rating beginning in July, meaning SNFs have just a couple of months to prepare. In an Open Door Forum on March 3, CMS announced it would begin posting six new quality measures to Nursing Home Compare, five of which will be phased into the Five-Star Quality Rating system come July.