Washington, D.C. —Mark Parkinson, President and CEO at the American Health Care Association (AHCA), made the following statement regarding the SNF PPS FY 2019 final rule from CMS.
“The 2.4% market basket increase included in this rule is essential for struggling providers as they prepare for the health care needs of an aging population.
“While the skilled nursing profession welcomes a new payment model, we are concerned with the language in this rule about the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM). The tone of the rule itself and many of the specific comments related to therapy and the new payment model are cause for concern.
“The therapy language in the rule criticizes skilled nursing providers for providing therapy when CMS has promulgated rules over the last 20 years that encourage therapy. Providing therapy to residents in our centers has been a good thing and it has resulted in millions of residents getting better and returning home.
“In addition, rather than focusing on outcomes associated with therapy delivery as we requested, this rule micromanages patient care and therapy minutes at a time when providers are already overburdened by unnecessary regulation. For example, the rule sets an arbitrary 25% limit on concurrent and group therapy. Decisions about how much therapy is provided should not be made from a government office. Clinicians and patients should make those decisions together.
“We have been encouraged by our collaboration with CMS in recent months to create smart regulations that truly aim to improve care. This final rule and the tone of the language within it seem to indicate a different direction. AHCA hopes to collaborate with CMS on the new payment model to make the transition as smooth as possible.”
The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represents more than 13,600 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, post-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities. By delivering solutions for quality care, AHCA/NCAL aims to improve the lives of the millions of frail, elderly and individuals with disabilities who receive long term or post-acute care in our member facilities each day. For more information, please visitwww.ahca.org or www.ncal.org.