On Friday, April 20th, Michael Webb and I presented to the membership of the Genesee Health Facilities Association in Rochester, NY during their monthly meeting.  When we were originally asked to speak, we had planned on presenting about the impact of Speech Therapy on RCS-1.

However, during the recent CMS Open Door Forum, John Kane from CMS informed the listeners that the timeframe for RCS-1 was still yet to be established and CMS was still considering the multitude of public comments that had been received.  In light of this news, we needed a new plan for this presentation. We figured that the Administrators and Directors of Rehabilitation in attendance would like to hear about:

1. What exactly happened on the CMS Open Door Forum

2. What tasks should your Speech Therapists be performing on a daily basis at your SNF

3. Insight into preparing for RCS-1, if it does become implemented

4. Some new ideas if we are to continue in a RUGS world. After the CMS Open Door Forum, the question everyone is asking regarding RCS-1 is “Will it Ever Be Implemented?”  Our answer is: “We don’t know yet…” and we don’t.

Here’s why: On one hand, many key stakeholders in Washington DC strongly oppose a reimbursement system so influenced so heavily by the delivery of therapy minutes. On the other hand, the RCS-1 system and its near 140,000 different permutations and outcomes seem far too complicated, leaving us all at a unique crossroads. The IMPACT Act called for MedPAC to draw up the framework of a unified payment system for a multitude of Post-Acute providers.

Perhaps the RUG-IV System will be with us until the Unified Post-Acute Payment System is here, which could be as early as 2021? Don’t cross off RCS-1 from your “to-do list” just yet.

We are all curious how things will unfold over the coming months. Providing speech therapy service for skilled nursing facilities has many unique nuances.

In our next edition, we will take a closer look at the tasks that great Speech Therapists performing at SNFs to enhance the quality of life for the residents.

We’d love to hear your thoughts or comments.  Feel free to comment below.