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SNFs soon may face penalties for avoidable readmissions

April 16, 2013
by Sandra Hoban, Managing Editor
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The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has included recommendations from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) to have skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) join hospitals in accountability for avoidable 30-day hospital readmissions. As part of the 2014 budget proposal, SNFs with high rates of Medicare rehospitalizations would have payments reduced by 3 percent beginning in 2017.

The MedPAC analysis showed that approximately 14 percent of Medicare patients discharged to SNFs were rehospitalized. To avoid penalties and ensure quality care, this budget proposal challenges SNFs to provide better care so residents are physically ready for discharge, provide better family education on subjects such a medication management and form partnerships with high-quality community services.

Also on the table is MedPAC’s recommendation that bundled payment for post-acute care providers be implemented in 2018, including long-term care hospitals, SNFs, inpatient rehabilitation facilities and home health providers.

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