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Early Discharges From Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities to Home Health Services

Under the inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF) prospective payment system (PPS), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) established an IRF transfer payment policy based on a per diem amount for each case-mix group (CMG) for which the discharge occurred before the average length of stay for the respective CMG. The IRF transfer payment policy applies to early IRF transfers to another IRF, an inpatient hospital, a nursing home that accepts payments under Medicare or Medicaid, or a long-term-care facility. CMS excluded IRF discharges to home health services from this policy because the home health agency PPS had just been developed and claims data were not available for CMS to analyze. CMS was concerned, however, about IRF incentives to discharge patients prematurely under the IRF PPS to home health services. Our objective is to determine how an IRF transfer payment policy for early discharges to home health services would financially affect Medicare Part A and IRFs.

Announced or Revised Agency Title Component Report Number(s) Expected Issue Date (FY)
January 2020 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Early Discharges From Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities to Home Health Services Office of Audit Services W-00-20-35831 2021