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This October, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) fiscal year 2017 payment and policy changes for skilled nursing facilities take effect—with PPS payment rate updates, changes to the SNF Quality Reporting Program, and the SNF Value-Based Purchasing Program. Right on the heels of that, we expect CMS to issue the long-awaited Final “Mega-Rule.” This additional new rule will revise requirements for long-term care facilities’ participation in the Medicare and Medicaid programs and will be the first comprehensive change to the Conditions of Participation since 1991. When the Proposed Rule was issued on July 13, 2015, it was evident that the Department of Health and Human Services intended to align priorities for all healthcare providers, as it included major revisions in the areas of quality, person-centered care, facility assessment, competency-based approaches, and modernization of standards—as well as robust requirements for compliance and ethics.
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