The AHA yesterday urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to articulate how it intends to coordinate implementation of the Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting and Value-Based Purchasing programs with the Nursing Home Quality Initiative. “We appreciate that CMS must fulfill its obligations under the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act and Protecting Access to Medicare Act to implement SNF QRP and SNF VBP,” wrote AHA Executive Vice President Rick Pollack, commenting on quality and VBP proposals included in the FY 2016 proposed rule for the SNF prospective payment system. “However, we also believe all three programs must be focused on the common goals and objectives. A lack of a clearly articulated approach for coordinating these efforts across all three programs could lead to considerable confusion among SNFs, other providers and patients.” In addition, AHA urged the agency not to finalize a proposed FY 2018 SNF QRP functional status measure that is duplicative and not endorsed by the National Quality Forum; and to adjust a proposed FY 2019 VBP readmission measure for sociodemographic factors, citing “significant evidence showing the impact of issues such as income and duel-eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid on readmission rates.”

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