The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the proposed rule for the inpatient rehabilitation facility prospective payment system (IRF PPS) for fiscal year (FY) 2020.
Some of the key proposals in the rule include:
- Net Payments: Net payments for IRF’s would increase by 2.3 percent, including a 3.0 percent market basket update, offset by a statutorily mandated cut of 0.5 percentage points for productivity, and a 0.2 percent decrease in outlier payments. This update reflects the proposed revision and rebasing of the market basket using data from 2016 as the base year instead of 2012.
- Case-Mix Revisions: The Functional Independence Measure (FIM) and Functional Modifier items were removed from the IRF Patient Assessment Instrument (PAI) as finalized in the FY 2019 IRF PPS final rule. CMS also indicated that the FY 2020 case-mix groups (CMGs) would be based on a patient’s motor function, age, memory function, and communication function. However, in this proposed rule CMS made the decision not to include the communication and memory scores because their inclusion in the CMG definitions resulted in lower payments for patients with cognitive deficits (based on their analysis of two years of data).
- Outlier Threshold and Cost-to-Charge Ratio: CMS proposes to update the outlier threshold amount from $9,402 for FY 2019 to $9,935 for FY 2020 to ensure outlier payments account for 3 percent of total payments, as they did for FY 2019. CMS notes that its initial analysis showed that outlier payments would be 3.2 percent and made the above proposed adjustment to maintain it at 3 percent.
- Rehabilitation Physician Definition: CMS proposes to clarify that compliance with the regulatory definition of “rehabilitation physician” (a licensed physician with specialized training and experience in inpatient rehabilitation) will be determined by the IRF. Currently, the regulations do not specify the level or type of training or experience that are required to satisfy this criteria.
- Proposed Changes to IRF Quality Reporting Program (QRP): CMS proposes to adopt two measures to the IRF QRP with data collection for discharges beginning October 1, 2020.
- Transfer of Health Information to the Provider
- Transfer of Health Information to the Patient
Transfer of Health Information is a required domain of the IMPACT Act and CMS has been developing these measures since 2016. The measures are process-based measures that assess if a “current reconciled medication list” is given to either the subsequent provider or to the patient/family/caregiver when the patient is discharged or transferred from his or her current PAC setting. CMS proposes to start collecting the measure via the IRF-PAI for discharges beginning October 1, 2020.
- Proposed Revision to Discharge to Community Measure: CMS proposes to revise the Discharge to Community post-acute care measure to exclude baseline nursing facility (NF) residents from the measures beginning with the FY 2020 IRF QRP due to stakeholder recommendations.
CMS proposes to define baseline NF residents as those who had a long-term NF stay in the 180 days preceding their hospitalization and IRF stay.
- Proposed Standard Patient Assessment Data Elements (SPADEs): This proposal is slated for reporting beginning in October 2020. In line with the IMPACT Act, CMS is required to develop and collect standardized patient assessment data in PAC settings. In this rule, CMS proposes to adopt ”many of” the standardized patient assessment data elements (SPADEs) it had previously proposed in the FY 2018 IRF PPS proposed rule, as well adopt new SPADEs on social determinants of health. Some proposed items, such as the Brief Interview of Mental Status (BIMS), are currently on the IRF-PAI, in which case CMS is proposing to formally adopt them as SPADEs. However, most of the proposed items would entail adding new, additional reporting elements to the IRF-PAI.
- Proposal to Collect All-Payer IRF PAI Data: CMS proposes to expand the reporting of the IRF-PAI data to include data on all patients, regardless of their payer, beginning with patients discharged on or after October 1, 2020.
The proposed rule will be published in the April 24, 2019 edition of the Federal Register. Comments on the provisions contained in the proposed rule will be accepted until June 17, 2019. Contact Melissa Dehoff, RCPA Rehabilitation Services Director, with questions.