Issue: February 12, 2018

Published on February 12, 2018

Articles in this issue:

Congress Permanently Repeals Medicare Part B Therapy Caps

Author: Lauren Pollow and Carl J. Pucci* Published in Finance & Reimbursement

As you are aware, Congress passed a short-term budget deal on Friday to keep the Government open through March of 2018. Included in this budget deal was a provision repealing the Medicare Part B Outpatient Therapy Caps. Please see summary below from AHCA President Mark Parkinson for more details on this permanent repeal: 

As you are probably aware by now, early this morning both houses of Congress passed a budget deal enacted by the President that provides short-term funding to keep the government open through March 23, 2018, and establishes a two-year budget framework. One very important provision in the deal that immediately impacts residents of AHCA/NCAL member facilities is the permanent repeal of the Medicare Part B outpatient therapy caps. This message outlines the major provisions impacting Part B therapy contained in the new law.

AHCA/NCAL are overall pleased with the actions by Congress to permanently repeal the therapy caps. First, this law permanently removes the risk of dramatically reduced revenues when the caps were enforced. Second, while we are disappointed that Congress again imposed a Part A market basket cut to help pay for the Part B therapy cap repeal provisions, this law permanently removes the recurring risk for future payment cuts to pay for 1-2-year extensions of the cap exceptions process that we have experienced over the past decade. Finally, and most importantly, this law now assures that our residents can receive necessary and uninterrupted physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), and speech-language pathology (SLP) services to improve or maintain their function and quality of life.

Background

The Medicare Part B outpatient therapy caps limited the amount of PT, OT, and SLP services Medicare would cover per year. These caps were first implemented in 1999 and were enforced for limited periods through 2005. Since 2006, an exceptions process was enacted allowing for medically necessary therapy services above the cap amounts. However, the exceptions process provisions expired at the end of 2017. Before today's new law, beginning January 1, 2018, Medicare would only cover $2,010 of PT/SLP services combined, and $2,010 of OT services per year. There were no exceptions - even if the therapy was urgently needed for a beneficiary to restore function to remain home, return home, or to maintain their quality of life. We estimate that, without repeal, SNF Part B therapy revenues would have declined more than $811 million per year (37% of total SNF Part B payments).

What's in the New Law That You Need to Know and Share with Billing and Therapy Staff

We are currently conducting additional impact analyses and will provide updates as they become available.

If you have additional questions, please contact Dan Ciolek at dciolek@ahca.org

NYSHFA CONTACTS:

Lauren Pollow
Director, Government Affairs
518-462-4800 x25

Carl J. Pucci
Chief Financial Officer
518-462-4800 x36

NYSHFA/NYSCAL Legislative Day!

Author: * Published in Legislative

NYSHFA/NYSCAL will be holding a joint targeted legislative visitation day on Monday, March 5th to meet with key elected officials and policymakers regarding issues and concerns related to the proposed 2018-2019 Executive Budget.

A block of rooms has been set aside at the Albany Marriott, 189 Wolf Road, Albany, New York 12205 for the night of March 4th for NYSHFA/NYSCAL Legislative Visitation Day. Reservations can be made by call 1-800-228-9290 or 518-458-8444 and reference reservation code HEF for the $149.00 room rate. The cutoff date for reservations is February 19, 2018. Also, for your convenience, attached is a link to hotel reservations.

In addition, we will be scheduling a conference call to go over logistics for Legislative Visitation Day in mid-February.

Please contact Nancy Knapp at nknapp@nyshfa.org if you plan on participating in Legislative Visitation Day.

NYSHFA/NYSCAL CONTACT:

Lauren Pollow
Director, Government Affairs
518-462-4800 x25

2018 Employee Recognition Program Deadline Extended to February 14

Author:

The Clinical and Quality Services Committee is pleased to announce a call for nominations for the annual Employee Recognition Program. The goal of this program is to honor exemplary employees working in skilled nursing facilities. The four categories for awards are Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse, Certified Nursing Assistant and the “Heart and Hands” Award for non-nursing/non-managerial staff.

Attached are the Employee Recognition Program Brochure and Guidelines for Preparing Applications. The Clinical and Quality Services Committee will be accepting nominations until February 14, 2018.  Recipients of the awards will be honored at the Awards Ceremony during the NYSHFA/NYSCAL Annual Conference, June 24 – 27, 2018 at the Westchester Hilton in Rye, NY.

If you have any questions, contact Joanne O’Connor at NYSHFA/NYSCAL.

NYSHFA CONTACTS:

Lisa Volk, RN, B.P.S., LNHA
Director, Clinical & Quality Services
518-462-4800 x15

Joanne O'Connor
Communications & Business Development Coordinator
518-462-4800 ext. 23

2018 Volunteer of the Year Awards Program Deadline Extended to February 14

Author:

The Clinical and Quality Services Committee is pleased to announce a call for nominations for the annual Volunteer of the Year Awards Program. The goal of this program is to recognize outstanding volunteers serving in NYSHFA member health care facilities. The five categories for awards are: Young Adult, Adult, Senior Adult, Group and Spiritual Guidance.

Attached are the Volunteer of the Year Awards Program Brochure and Nomination Form. The Clinical and Quality Services Committee will be accepting nominations until February 14, 2018.  Recipients of the awards will be honored at the Awards Ceremony during the NYSHFA/NYSCAL Annual Conference, June 24 – 27, 2018 at the Westchester Hilton in Rye, NY.

If you have any questions, contact Joanne O’Connor at NYSHFA/NYSCAL.

NYSHFA CONTACTS:

Lisa Volk, RN, B.P.S., LNHA
Director, Clinical & Quality Services
518-462-4800 x15

Joanne O'Connor
Communications & Business Development Coordinator
518-462-4800 ext. 23