CMS Issues Informational Bulletin on Medicaid Reimbursement Strategies to Prevent Spread of COVID-19 in Nursing Facilities
CMS issued a Medicaid Informational Bulletin (CIB) offering guidance to state Medicaid agencies regarding the ways in which they may enhance payment for nursing facilities to account for potentially increased resident acuity levels and to support any necessary actions that facilities are implementing to mitigate the further spread of COVID-19. The CIB includes:- Examples of nursing facility payment enhancements available to states. These include base rate payment increases, establishing new payment methodologies for facilities that serve as isolation centers, establishing targeted supplemental payments, among others. – Flexibilities available in managed care. These include establishing state-directed payments to nursing homes; although actuarial soundness requirements must be met to implement these payments, CMS notes that it has established an expedited review process to accomodate states seeking to make sure payments. – Examples of states that have implemented these and other policies. The CIB also describes the Provider Relief Fund distributions announced to date, but provides no additional information about how nursing facilities may access the recently-announced, additional $5 billion for nursing homes.