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SNF Therapy Payments Research

Since 1998, Medicare has paid for services provided by skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) under the Medicare Part A benefit on a per diem basis through the skilled nursing facility prospective payment system (SNF PPS). Currently, therapy payments under the SNF PPS are based primarily on the amount of therapy provided to a patient, regardless of the specific patient characteristics and care needs. CMS has contracted with Acumen, LLC to identify potential alternatives to the existing methodology used to pay for therapy services under the SNF PPS. Below, we will post information about this project as it progresses.

In the first phase of the project, the contractor reviewed past research studies and policy issues related to SNF PPS therapy payment and options for improving or replacing the current system of paying for SNF therapy services. The following report summarizes the analysis and findings from this first phase of the project:

SNF Therapy Payment Models – Base Year Final Summary Report, April 2014

In the second phase of the project, which is now in process, the contractor is using the findings from this Base Year Final Summary Report as a guide to identify potential models suitable for further analysis.  As the contractor begins the process of further narrowing the scope of ideas to examine in this second phase of the project, we welcome comments and feedback regarding the findings included in this report. Comments on this report, as well as on SNF therapy payments in general, may be submitted anytime to: 

SNFTherapyPayments@cms.hhs.gov