The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services late today issued a final rule updating payment rates for skilled nursing facilities for fiscal year 2020. CMS finalized a net payment increase of 2.4%, or $851 million, compared to FY 2019. This includes a 2.8% market-basket update, offset by a statutorily required 0.4% productivity reduction.
  
The rule also adds more detail to the new SNF payment model that was finalized in last year's rulemaking. The new model is projected to contribute to substantial payment improvements for hospital-based SNFs in FY 2020 (12.4% increase for urban and 23.1% increase for rural hospital-based SNFs).
  
In addition, as proposed, the rule implements a process for updating ICD-10 codes under the new payment model, and a new, more flexible definition for group therapy that aligns with other post-acute settings.
  
CMS also finalized the adoption of two new quality measures on transfer of patient health information in the SNF Quality Reporting Program, as well as the adoption of several standardized patient assessment data elements. However, CMS did not finalize its proposal to require reporting of patient assessment data for all patients regardless of payer.

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