Last week, members of the Language Fundamentals team attended “Reimbur$ement-Con” presented by Zimmet Healthcare Services Group.  The event was held at the Mohegan Sun Resort & Casino with over 1,000 attendees from the long-term care community.  As usual, the team from Zimmet presented up-to-the-minute information on the SNF industry’s most pressing issues.

The hot topics included:

  1. PDPM Recalibration – Marc Zimmet’s keynote provided in depth analysis of CMS’ reasoning for a potential PDPM rate recalibration.  CMS has decided against Medicare Part A rate reductions for Fiscal Year 2022.  Zimmet fears that CMS’ logic & further delays could lead to even larger rate reductions in the future.
  • Federal SNF Policies Impact Individual States Differently – At the 2019 conference, Zimmet introduced the concept that the nursing home market is actually made up of many regions.  As opposed to a national nursing home market.  This is clearly happening & great examples were provided throughout the 2 days.
  • Potential for Future CMS audits – During the PDPM sessions, the Zimmet team warned that there is a high likelihood of future audits. The 1135 waiver will be a target.  Ensuring accurate coding and clinical documentation now remains the best mechanism to ensure SNFs are protected from future takebacks.
  • PDPM Benchmark Rates – Excellent data was shared on the inner working of the components of PDPM.  Mike Sciacca, Vincent Fedele, and Tracey Weiss shared insight into the characteristics of top performing SNFs, average performers, and others. Depression capture, nursing, and speech-language pathology contribute greatly to the success top performing SNFs.  The impact of NTAs, especially early in the stay, is also critical.
  • Managed Care Impact – Managed care penetration continues to increase in many regions of the country.  Significant administrative complexities & lower reimbursement rates will continue to challenge already understaffed SNF operators.
  • New Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in Rehab – During the seminar about Rehab Management Mary Long of TheraDynamics Rehab, Robert Gross & Mike Sciacca from Zimmet discussed the changing KPIs in Rehab. The new KPIs include cost per minute, efficiency, Part B & positive outcomes.
  • SNFs as the Epicenter of Covid – My favorite session of the conference featured 4 executives of local state associations.  The panel shared how the Covid pandemic and other issues such as 5-star impact their member SNFs differently.  It also became clear to the audience that even though many states took a “hospital centered” approach, SNFs were the true epicenter of Covid.
  • Rise of the Regional Operator – Zimmet predicts continued building purchases and consolidations will result in the “rise of regional operators” throughout the country.

Once again, the Zimmet annual conference did not disappoint. Gathering with friends, clients, and colleagues in-person to learn and share ideas felt great.  If you have any questions on PDPM, speech therapy, or anything else SNF-related, we are glad to help.