The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services yesterday issued a proposed rule for the inpatient rehabilitation facility prospective payment system for fiscal year 2021. CMS proposed an increase in net payments of 2.5% ($270 million) relative to FY 2020 payments.

The brief rule proposes to permanently amend IRF coverage requirements by removing the post-admission physician evaluation documentation requirement for all IRF discharges, beginning Oct. 1, 2020. CMS stated that its goal for this proposed change was to reduce the administrative and paperwork burden for both IRFs and its contractors.

AHA notes that in its March 31 interim final rule with comment, the agency implemented a temporary waiver of this particular patient evaluation for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency period. The rule proposes no changes to the IRF quality reporting program. CMS will accept comments on this proposed rule through June 15.

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