The CMS pays millions of dollars a year to nursing homes for taking care of older adults who do not qualify for coverage, according to an investigation by HHS' inspector general.
Critics say eliminating retrospective eligibility is one more administrative barrier the Trump administration has erected to make Medicaid and other public benefits harder to access.
Sanford, which has 44 hospitals, adds the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society and its 200- post-acute, skilled-nursing, hospice, assisted-living, rehabilitation and home-health facilities to its network.
The CMS is seeking to improve quality of care at nursing homes via a new safety training effort.
The CMS wants to make sure it's using the right quality measures to track care given by home health agencies, which costs the agency around $18 billion every year.
There will be fewer independent post-acute providers as they struggle to raise the additional capital to comply with evolving regulatory regimes, care coordination and new payment systems, according to a new report from Welltower.
Occupancy at SNFs across the United States reached a record low of 81.7% in the second quarter of 2018, down from 83.1% over the same period last year as policy changes take hold and competition ramps up.
Private equity firms increasingly see post-acute providers as lucrative investments, buying skilled-nursing and senior-housing facilities from REITs that are willing to sell because of the sectors' financial struggles.
The CMS will give post-acute care providers more than $900 million in collective raises next year, including a 2.4% increase for skilled-nursing facilities and 1.3% for inpatient rehab centers.
ProMedica bought the bankrupt post-acute provider HCR ManorCare for about $1.4 billion through a complex deal that involves changing HCR's for-profit facilities into not-for-profit assets.
The CMS is considering paying home health agencies for remote patient monitoring. In all, the CMS is proposing a 2.1% or $400 million increase in Medicare payments for home health agencies. That's a change from the 0.4% or $80 million cut from last year.
Sanford Health will merge with Good Samaritan Society, mirroring other health systems that have made a play for long-term care providers to try to better coordinate care once patients leave the hospital.