CMS Institutes Final Rule for 2019 Inpatient Rehab, Long-Term Care

Clarity will aid patients, caregivers for fiscal 2019

Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) updated and released its final rule for fiscal year 2019 pertaining to payment rates for inpatient rehabilitation facilities.

As required by the Social Security Act (the Act), this final rule includes the classification and weighting factors for the IRF prospective payment system’s (PPS) case-mix groups and a description of the methodologies and data used in computing the prospective payment rates for FY 2019.

One highlight of the final was a nearly 2 percent increase in Medicare operating rates for those facilities reporting quality data and who are deemed ‘meaningful users of EHRs.’ They arrived at the exact figure (1.85 percent) by combining a 2.9 percent market update and 0.5 percentage point increase required by law, adjusted down 0.8 percentage points for productivity and 0.75 percentage points as required by the ACA.

Hospitals are also now required to publish a list of standard charges online in a readable format at least once per year. The previous set of rules only called for such information to be made publicly available upon request.

Several changes in the rule serve to make documentation easier and less time consuming, such as elimination of a rule requiring certain details in certification statements.

A full update can be found here.

SOURCE: Becker’s Hospital Review

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