Medicare accountable care organizations accepting downside financial risk will have easier access to CMS waivers of the rule requiring three-day inpatient stays before patients can be sent to skilled nursing facilities.
In a guidance published Monday, the CMS laid out requirements for Shared Savings Program ACOs that apply for a waiver of the three-day stay rule. Only ACOs currently participating in or applying to certain Shared Savings Program performance-based risk tracks can apply for waivers, which will take effect July 1, 2019.
To apply, an ACO must provide the CMS with a list of skilled nursing facilities with which the ACO will partner, along with a SNF affiliate agreement for each facility. Partnering SNFs must have an overall CMS quality rating of three stars or higher.