Industry is abuzz about the many critical access hospitals (CAH) that may have to close operations if the OIG HHS recommendation made to CMS forces the CAHs (many of which are in under-served and rural U.S. communities) into a different payor reimbursement plan for their swing beds than was previously agreed.
What’s all this buzz about?
In the headlining report of the OIG HHS March 9, 2015 e-mail sent to its followers, HHS made the following three points.
- OIG HHS said, “We recommend that CMS seek legislation to adjust CAH swing-bed reimbursement rates to the lower SNF PPS rates paid for similar services at alternative facilities.”
- OIG HHS acknowledged concerns with the conclusions it has drawn, which include assumptions about the availability of skilled nursing services at nearby alternate facilities and its calculation of potential savings.
- OIG HHS said their conclusions are based on data they possess from calendar years 2005 through 2010, which indicates, “swing-bed usage at critical access hospitals significantly increased,” during those years.