In an announcement on Friday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) confirmed the decision to raise Medicare payments by 1.8% in fiscal year 2013.  The increase is set to begin on October 1.
With an estimated economic impact of $670 million in cumulative payments throughout the year, it understandable that skilled nursing providers are saying they are pleased with the federal government’s decision.
After an average of 11.1% in cuts to Medicare reimbursements that went into effect last October, skilled nursing providers have feared a freeze or even more cutbacks in FY 2013 SNF Prospective Payment System rates.  The newly announced payment boost will begin to reverse that negative impact.
“After years of reimbursement volatility, today’s update to Medicare payments is welcome news to skilled nursing providers,” said Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association. “AHCA appreciates CMS’ balanced approach to this year’s Medicare payment system after recognizing the many rounds of government reductions the profession has already endured.”
According to CMS, this 1.8% rate indicates a skilled nursing facility market basket (inflationary) adjustment rate of 2.5%, less 0.7% for the mandated Multifactor Productively (MFP) adjustment.
SNF PPS rate schedules range from 0.3% to 2.7% and will vary by region.
In Thursday’s Federal Register, CMS will formally publish the FY 2013 SNF PPS rates.
 “Nursing homes to get 1.8% Medicare pay raise in 2013.” McKnight’s Long Term Care News. Web. 31 July 2012.
 Gerace, Alyssa. “CMS Medicare Payment Update to Provide $670 Million Boost to SNFs in FY 2013.” Senior Housing News. Web. 31 July 2012.