CMS issues long-awaited post-acute care report

AHA News Now

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently sent Congress a report on key findings from the Post Acute Care Payment Reform Demonstration, as required by the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. The report describes the development and testing of a uniform patient assessment instrument (CARE: Continuity Assessments Record and Evaluation) mandated by the legislation, and reviews findings related to predicting patient-specific resource intensity across four post-acute care settings: long-term care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, skilled nursing facilities and home health agencies. The demonstration involved 140 general acute hospitals and post-acute providers in 11 markets. According to the report, the findings provide a solid basis to build a payment system covering more than one post-acute setting. The "CARE Tool" is described as desirable for standardized data collection across post-acute settings to compare function and other outcomes, develop better risk adjustment, and model new post-acute payment approaches, such as episode and site-neutral payment. The AHA is preparing a regulatory advisory for members that will summarize the report's key findings and recommendations.

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