Inpatient rehabilitation facilities are getting a payment increase of 2.9% for 2021.

According to HEALTHCARE FINANCE, Because of the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in its proposed rule has limited the annual rulemaking to payment and essential policies.

CMS is proposing updates to the payment rates using the most recent data to reflect an estimated 2.5% increase factor. This is the inpatient-rehabilitation-facility market-basket increase factor of 2.9%, reduced by a 0.4% multifactor productivity-adjustment.

However, an additional 0.4% increase to aggregate payments – due to updating the outlier threshold to maintain estimated outlier payments at 3% of total payments – results in an overall update of 2.9%, or $270 million. 

CMS is also proposing to adopt the most recent Office of Management and Budget statistical area delineations and apply a 5% cap on wage index decreases from 2020 to 2021.

In another move to ease physician burden, CMS is proposing to allow non-physician practitioners to perform any of the inpatient-rehabilitation-facility coverage service and documentation duties that are currently required to be performed by a rehabilitation physician.

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